West Virginia fire chief struck by car while directing traffic

A driver struck a fire chief who was trying to direct traffic in Logan County. Jeffery Woods, 53, of Davin, West Virginia, is in jail after deputies say he hit the fire chief then took off.

According to the Logan County Sheriff’s Department, it happened during a DUI patrol in the Huff Creek area of Man, West Virginia. There were downed power lines and trees in the road. Firefighters were doing hazard control as they waited for AEP to arrive.

Fire Chief Joe Wimmer was directing traffic when a small car approached him at a fast speed. Deputies say Wimmer motioned for the vehicle to stop. The driver, later identified as Woods, said he was trying to go around the traffic to get home. Wimmer asked him to wait patiently.

“He finally slowed down and got out of the car and was kind of irate about ‘I need to get home.’ I said, ‘Well, everyone needs to get home and get home safely,'” Wimmer said.

Deputies say Woods then drove around other vehicles. He hit Chief Wimmer in the legs, throwing him onto the hood of the car. Wimmer then landed on the ground and Woods drove off.

“I was really kind of shocked when it happened,” Wimmer said. “It was enough to scare me for sure.”

According to court documents, Wimmer was wearing a safety vest and there were flashing lights and reflective cones along the road warning drivers to slow down.

A nearby sheriff’s deputy was notified that Woods was heading his way. Deputy R. Johnson tried to stop the vehicle, but Woods put his car into reverse, backing into another vehicle. The deputy was then able to stop the vehicle.

The officer asked Woods to get out of the vehicle and he refused, holding onto the steering wheel. There was a brief struggle, but the deputy was able to arrest the suspect.

After several field sobriety tests Woods showed no signs of impairment, deputies say. Woods said he did not take any drugs or drink any alcohol. However, he was taken to Logan Regional Hospital for a blood test. There could be additional charges when those lab results come back.

Woods is currently in the Southwestern Regional Jail. He is charged with failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, approaching an emergency vehicle improperly, fleeing in a vehicle, reckless driving, obstructing an officer, obstructing a firefighter directing traffic, and obstructing a firefighter.

This news was provided by WSAZ News Channel 3.