Cops and Courts, Latest News

Police: Speed, aggressive driving factors in fatal Jan. 3 crash

Speed and aggressive driving were in play during a Jan. 3 multi-vehicle collision on Interstate 79 that took the lives of two people, police say.

According to criminal complaints, a joint investigation conducted by the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department and its crash reconstructionist determined that the speed and aggressive driving maneuvers of Thomas H. Horner, 39, of Bobtown, Pa., contributed to the deaths of Zaquan C. George, 21, and Maggie Erdie, 19, both of Morgantown. Tw other individuals were seriously injured in the three-vehicle crash.

Detective Sgt. Joshua Ward said evidence was gathered through interviews, witness statements, video footage and physical evidence at the scene. 

Both sides of I-79 and a portion of Interstate 68 were at a standstill for hours as investigators evaluated the crash area. 

In addition to the fatalities, two other individuals were seriously hurt, suffering broken bones and other debilitating injuries. 

Horner was charged with two counts of negligent homicide and reckless driving with injury, all misdemeanor offenses. 

He was arraigned before Magistrate James Nabors and released on a $15,000 recognizance bond assured by a third party. The judge said the bond amount was higher than state law recommends. 

If convicted, Horner 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. 

TWEET @DominionPostWV