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Pocahontas Vehicle Accident Anything But Routine

Travelers on Route 250 between Monterey and Bartow were re-routed for several hours Sunday due to a single vehicle accident which turned out to be anything but an ordinary traffic incident.

We spoke with Lieutenant Michael Baylouss, Public Information Officer with the West Virginia State Police, who confirmed the details of the strange incident as reported by West Virginia Metro News and The Pocahontas Times.

Late Sunday morning, law enforcement and rescue personnel were summoned to the scene of the accident, roughly one and a half miles on the West Virginia side of the state line. According to the State Police report, the vehicle struck a guardrail after leaving the road, and came to rest on the yellow line. What changed the investigation was the report of a couple who had spotted and reported the driver, later identified as Erica Newsome of Jacksonville, Florida, removing another person from the vehicle and taking them away from the accident scene. Authorities found the driver and the body of her 11 year old daughter 150 yards away, down a logging road. The coroner later declared that the juvenile had been deceased for at least 24 hours.

According to the report made by Senior Trooper T.R. Dillon, Ms. Newsome made statements to the effect that she was abusive towards and had killed her daughter, and placed her in the bed of her vehicle on Friday, August 4th, where she remained motionless until the accident. She stated she was headed to Buffalo, New York, where the child’s father lived, and was taking more rural roads because her vehicle could not maintain interstate speeds. Authorities in Jacksonville have searched Newsome’s residence there, and located evidence related to the investigation. She is currently being held in Southern Regional Jail, and has been charged with concealment of a dead human body. West Virginia State Police Sergeant Herby Barlow said the investigation was still active, and noted that without the actions of the couple who had reported what they had seen, the incident would only have been reported as a routine accident.

We than West Virginia Metro News and The Pocahontas Times for their assistance with this story.

Story By

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Scott Smith

Scott is the News Director for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan, and also is a member of the boards of the Highland-Bath Farm Bureau , Highland Chamber of Commerce and Highland Sheep and Wool Association. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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