EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSCABELL FATAL ACCIDENT
from Eyewitness News Online
Man Accused Of DUI Accident That Killed Kenova Woman Arrested
Reported by: Dave Benton
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: Mamie Buoy
Reported: Mar. 18, 2013 10:24 AM EDT
Updated: Mar. 20, 2013 9:58 AM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
A Cabell County man accused of drunken driving and then causing an accident that killed a Kenova woman has been arrested.
Police arrested Michael Shane Couch Tuesday afternoon after he was released from the hospital. Huntington police said evidence suggests Couch was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident on Fifth Street Hill Sunday. Deborah Rakes was killed in that accident.
Rakes daughter, Madison Chandler says, "I'm handling it a lot better than I thought I would. But, it's not something I can deal with right now."
Rakes was an active member at Christ Temple in Huntington and an employee at Fed Ex. Church member Jim Rudd said, "The last thing she said to me was you're one of my favorite ushers and I hugged her and she walked out the door."
Bobbie Young, who also attends Christ Temple says Rakes exemplified the character of Christ. "She was one of the most Christ-Like women I knew. Loving, caring and just one of the most energetic women. I used to tease her and say my goodness, no wonder you're in such great shape, you're the Fed Ex gal."
Rudd says church members will be praying for Rakes family as well as the man who accidentally killed her. "If anyone is on the down and out he is. She's OK. But he's not, he's down and out so he needs prayer."
Rakes daughter, Madison says she's not willing accept an apology from Couch, but she does forgive him. She says the circumstances surrounding her mother's death send a strong message. "If you're drinking, stay where you are, turn your keys over to somebody. Drive with a license and in a vehicle registered to you. Because, one day it could be them who loses a family member to this."
Police said Couch had several DUI convictions and was driving on a revoked license. His preliminary hearing is March 29th, 10:30 in Cabell County Magistrate Court.
A Huntington man has been charged with drunken driving in connection with a fatal accident that killed a Kenova woman on Sunday.
Michael Shane Couch was charged with DUI causing death on Monday. At 1 p.m. Sunday, a Toyota Camry driven by Deborah L. Rakes of Kenova was hit head-on by a Dodge Caravan driven by Couch on 5th St. Hill in Huntington. Both drivers had to be extracted from their vehicles and taken to Cabell Huntington Hospital for their injuries, according to a news release from the Huntington Police Department. Rakes died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
Police said that evidence collected at the scene indicated that Couch was under the influence of alcohol. Couch has a number of previous DUI convictions and was driving on a revoked license for DUI, the release said.
A warrant for Couch's arrest was obtained Monday afternoon. Additional charges against Couch could be pending.
A woman died following a head-on collision in Huntington.
Deborah L. Rakes, of Kenova died on Sunday. The accident happened about 1 p.m. on Fifth Street Hill in Huntington and involved a Toyota Camry driven by Rakes and a minivan. The driver of the other vehicle was injured in the accident.
Huntington police are investigating the cause of the crash.
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