Ohio County Sheriff’s Office Identifies Man Killed in North Wheeling Crash as Louisiana Resident
WHEELING — The Ohio County Sheriff’s office on Monday identified the driver of a truck killed when he crashed into a North Wheeling garage, reportedly after being involved in several assaults.
Gerald Paul Dural Jr., 35, of Sunset, Louisiana, drove down Pike Street at an excessive speed and went airborne before crashing through the roof of a garage at 452 Main St., according to a press release from the Ohio County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office responded to the crash at 2:17 a.m. and Dural was pronounced dead at the scene.
Beforehand, Dural fled the scene of an altercation at Generations Restaurant and Pub on National Road, in which he was the suspect in multiple assaults. Wheeling police officers were sent to the bar at 2:10 a.m. for a disturbance call.
When officers arrived, a truck was said to have fled the property with no lights on. A collision then occurred between two Wheeling police cruisers, a matter that the sheriff’s office is still investigating.
“One cruiser attempted to turn around in the roadway after seeing the fleeing vehicle in an attempt to identify it,” Sheriff Tom Howard said in the press release. “The cruiser then collided with another cruiser which was responding to stop the fleeing vehicle.”
Wheeling police then searched the area for the driver before the sheriff’s office notified them of the crash near Pike Street and Main Street.
The two officers who drove the cruisers were transported to Wheeling Hospital for minor injuries, and the vehicles were both listed as inoperable and towed from the scene, according to reports.
In addition, officers closed part of Main Street for several hours Sunday while the fatal crash was reconstructed and the vehicle was removed from the building.
The Wheeling Fire Department, American Electric Power, West Virginia Division of Highways, Wheeling Operations Department and several wrecker companies assisted.
Dural’s family has been notified by the Sheriff’s Office and the investigation was still open as of Monday afternoon, according to the office.
Wheeling police are still investigating the altercation that preceded the crash, spokesman Philip Stahl said. Three people were treated at Wheeling Hospital for injuries received from the assault at Generations.
“People were physically injured from the suspect,” Stahl said. “Right now we don’t know what started the fight or altercation and are still looking into it.”