Child killed in West Finley accident

September 13, 2013

A 5-year-old girl was killed Friday morning when she was ejected from the car her mother was driving as it went off Majorsville Road and down an embankment in West Finley Township.

Taylor Ann Louise Stout of Camp Resort Road, Four Seasons Campground, West Finley, was pronounced dead at the scene of multiple injuries, said Washington County Coroner Tim Warco. State police said there was a booster seat in the car, but it did not appear to have been properly secured. The girl’s mother, Latasha Stout, 23, was not injured. Police said she was wearing a seat belt.

Police said Latasha Stout was driving north in the 400 block of Majorsville Road about 7 a.m. Her vehicle went off the eastern side of the road, then crossed back over the road, spun out of control and went down an embankment.

The passenger side of the vehicle then struck a tree, causing the vehicle to spin again. Police said the girl was ejected through the rear driver’s side window. The vehicle continued to spin, then came to rest with the girl pinned underneath it.

“It was a very bad scene. The firefighters were trying to hold back tears,” Warco said. “I had to rappel down about a 40-foot embankment to get to her and bring her back up.”

Warco said the mother told police she was forced off the road by another vehicle. There were no guardrails in the area where the crash occurred.

State police said Latasha Stout had just dropped off a worker at a nearby gas-drilling site and was returning back to the campground so the 5-year-old girl could catch the school bus. Taylor was a kindergarten student at Claysville Elementary School.

McGuffey Superintendent Beverly Abore said in a statement released Friday that when she heard there was an accident in West Finley, she feared the worst.

“And when my fears were confirmed, my heart dropped,” she added. “The McGuffey School District staff, students and community are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of our students.”

Abore extended heartfelt sympathy and prayers to Taylor’s family. Letters were sent home to the parents of Taylor’s classmates so they are aware of the girl’s death. Counselors will be available at Claysville Elementary on Monday and throughout next week.

“We are all so sad,” Abore said.

Majorsville Road was closed for about four hours while state police did an accident reconstruction. Assisting at the scene were firefighters from West Finley and Dallas, W.Va., Ambulance and Chair and Dallas Emergency Medical Services.

Taylor was the 15th person to die on Washington County roads this year.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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