Fatal I-70 Crash Suspect Indicted

WHEELING – A man involved in a fatal collision on Interstate 70 in Ohio County early this year was indicted Monday.

David E. Hancher-Palmer, 22, of Rayland was charged with three counts of malicious wounding and one count of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, according to Ohio County Prosecutor Scott Smith.

Hancher-Palmer was involved in a crash that claimed the lives of Steven Carpenter, 20, of Toronto; Brittney Lynn Kusic, 26, of Weirton; and Justin Wright, 29, of Toronto on Jan. 30. Authorities believe Hancher-Palmer, who was driving a 1992 Chevrolet Beretta, intentionally struck a vehicle driven by Wright on the westbound Interstate 70 entrance ramp at Two Mile Hill near The Highlands. That collision sent the truck driven by Wright into the westbound lanes of I-70, where it was struck by a tractor-trailer.

Justin Wright and Kusic were pronounced dead at the scene, while Carpenter died later in a Pittsburgh hospital. A fourth passenger, Ashley Wright, 20, of Toronto, survived the crash and has given statements to police.

Hancher-Palmer previously waived his preliminary hearing in Ohio County Magistrate Court prior to his appearance before an Ohio County grand jury.

Hancher-Palmer is set to appear May 20 in circuit court, where he will be arraigned and given a trial date. Hancher-Palmer was freed from the Northern Regional Jail after posting a $50,000 cash-only bond Feb. 23.