EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSurvivor Of Clay Crash Says Law Shouldn't Allow Passengers In Truck Beds
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Troy Morgan
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Aug. 8, 2013 6:13 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 9, 2013 2:05 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Five surviving victims in the Clay County truck crash that killed a teenage girl are still recovering at CAMC in Charleston.
Kara Conley, 18, of Bomont was killed Wednesday morning. Jesse Walls, 19, is still in critical condition. Codie Moore is also listed in critical condition, according to family members.
Andrew Boggs, Cory Barnes, Carter Morton, Issac Murphy, Corey Mays, Dakota Blankenship, Cory Hill, and Jeramiah Holcomb all suffered injuries ranging from minor to severe.
Troopers initially said six people were riding the cab of the truck, and five in the bed, but have since determined that was inaccurate. They now say five were riding the cab, and six in the bed. All six were ejected.
All 11 victims were traveling in the truck being driven by Murphy. State police said the vehicle veered off Route 36, hit a guardrail, flipped several times and hit a tree.
Troopers said a small amount of marijuana was found inside the truck, but they haven't determined who it belongs to. No charges have been filed, as of Thursday, and it is unclear if the driver was under the influence.
One of the survivors, Carter Morton, said the crash should serve as a wake up call to lawmakers to make it illegal to ride in the bed of a truck.
"I could be dead, but in a way, I kind of wish I could trade her. She didn't deserve to die," Morton said.
He said he is still struggling to come to terms with everything that's happened since Wednesday morning.
"I tried to grab the wheel, couldn't grab it," he said. "Next thing I know, we were hitting the guardrail, airbag went off and we just started rolling. My head was just going everywhere."
Morton said the truck being driven belonged to him. He said he let Murphy test drive the truck after they spent the evening ghost hunting in Ivydale. He said Murphy fell asleep and started veering off the road. The next thing he knew, they had crashed, and Conley was pinned underneath the truck.
"I was doing everything I could to get her to respond to make sure she was okay. We were trying to pick the truck up to get her out," he said. "We couldn't."
Morton said he had no idea who the marijuana belonged to.
"They found marijuana in the truck. I have no idea who had that, and if I'd knew they had it, I wouldn't let them in my truck. I wasn't drinking. I know Isaac wasn't drinking," he said.
Morton said he feels responsible for Conley's death after not stopping her from getting into the back of the truck. It's a feeling of guilt he said he'll never be able to let go of.
"We have to live with this the rest of our lives. I have to live with the image of her being underneath that truck the rest of my life," Morton said.
Morton hopes the tragedy will serve as a call to action for laws to change in the state. Currently, it's legal to have passengers in the bed of a truck.
"It made me realize that life is extremely short and things can happen just like that," he said. "I didn't realize it until now."
Funeral arrangements for Conley have not been set. They will likely be held in her hometown in Kentucky.
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