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Pennsylvania man charged in fatal I-79 crash

A Pennsylvania man has been charged with two counts of negligent homicide and one count of reckless driving with injury following the investigation into a fatal accident on Interstate 79 the morning of Jan. 3.

Zaquan George, 21, and Margaret “Maggie” Erdie, 19, were pronounced dead at the scene of the multi-vehicle wreck near the 149-mile marker.  Two other victims were transported to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries suffered in the collision.

The highway was closed down for about five hours following the fiery crash causing traffic backups on both sides of I-79, as well as Interstate 68 westbound.

The Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of Thomas H. Horner III, 39, late Monday afternoon following an arraignment hearing before Magistrate James Nabors.

According to a press release authorized by Sheriff Perry Palmer, Horner was given a personal recognizance bond, which allows him to be released without paying a bond amount. Court records show the charges against Horner, but related information such as a criminal complaint and bond information were not yet available to the public.  

The magistrate clerk stated a third-party signature was pending and additional records and information should be available in the next few days.

The Dominion Post reached out to Palmer for additional details regarding the accident investigation but had not received a response in time for print.

Both of the charges against Horner are considered misdemeanor offenses.  If convicted, he faces jail time for up to one year, a fine up to $1,000, or both for each of the negligent homicide charges and for the reckless driving with injury charge he could be sentenced to up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.

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