Search for driver in crash continues


From staff and wire reports



BOLT MOUNTAIN — After an SUV automobile ran off a cliff, authorities continued the search for the driver of the vehicle on Monday.

The crash happened around 8:30 p.m. on July 18, according to reports.

Officials have only found foot prints, which they believe belong to the driver. However, the have not been able to locate driver whose care plunged over 200 feet straight down a mountainside at Bolt Mountain at the 85/99 intersection.

911 dispatchers said crews from Raleigh, Boone and Wyoming counties are involved in the search for the driver.

Troopers with the West Virginia State Police have released the name of the driver of the car that went over a mountain in Boone County, and that he is alive.

Darinel Mendoza, who lives in the Lyburn area of Logan County, reportedly has been in contact with his family since the accident, troopers said.

Troopers are looking at filing charges against Mendoza in connection with the wreck and are looking for him.

Crews on scene said a State Police helicopter has been used in the air searching.

Ten fire departments, along with other first responders and law enforcement from three counties responded to the scene.

Rescue crews are using thermal imaging cameras to search.

According to the Associated Press story on Monday, authorities say a driver is missing after a Jeep ran off the road and plunged 200 feet down a mountainside in southern West Virginia.

Media outlets report that the accident occurred Saturday night on Bolt Mountain in the area of the Boone-Raleigh-Wyoming county lines.

Emergency crews found the Jeep on Saturday night. State police say a man’s footprints also were found near the wreck but there was no blood.

Van Fire Department assistant fire chief Shawn Buckner tells WVNS-TV that authorities don’t know whether the driver walked away from the crash and became lost in the woods.

Crews from more than 10 area fire departments, state police troopers and emergency responders searched for the driver on Sunday.

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From staff and wire reports

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