SOUTHSIDE — The victim of Wednesday’s fatal accident on U.S. 35 has been identified.
John Kay, 46, Southside, was killed as a result of injuries he sustained in the accident, according to Sgt. T.S. Mills of the West Virginia State Police.
Mills, who is the commander or the Mason County post, said Kay was traveling southbound on U.S. 35 Wednesday morning, driving a farm tractor on the two-lane stretch of U.S. 35 just past Yauger’s Farm Supply. Cars were behind Kay, including a Subaru SUV driven by John Howard, 68, Gahanna, Ohio.
Mills said it appears Howard began to pass the cars in front of him at a fast rate of speed in a no passing zone. At this time, Kay saw no vehicles coming northbound and began to turn off the road when Howard, who was driving alongside in the no passing zone, ran into the tractor, causing it to overturn, Mills said. The tractor overturned near Kay Lane in Southside.
Howard was taken by air medical helicopter to St. Mary’s Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. On Thursday, a hospital spokesperson said Howard was in good condition.
Mills said the accident remains under investigation but charges are “definitely” expected to be filed. Mills said it does not appear alcohol or drugs played a part in the accident.
Mills is also part of a special team from the West Virginia State Police which recreates accident scenes. He along with a colleague took measurements with tools similar to surveying equipment to recreate the scene Wednesday.
Due to the actual accident, clean up and recreating the accident for the investigation, there were times that stretch of U.S. 35 was closed and then restricted to one lane of traffic. Both lanes reopened around 7 p.m on Wednesday evening.
This is the second traffic fatality in Mason County in two weeks. The other fatality occurring on W.Va. 2, claiming the life of Sarah L. Nott, 21, Point Pleasant.