Man charged after Kanawha County crash kills unborn child

Timothy Wickline was arraigned in Kanawha County Magistrate Court on Wednesday, July 20, 2022...
Timothy Wickline was arraigned in Kanawha County Magistrate Court on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 and is charged with driving under the influence resulting in death.
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 7:06 PM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - An expectant mother is now grieving the loss of her unborn baby from a crash Monday on Interstate 77, and a criminal complaint alleges an intoxicated man crashed into her car and killed the fetus.

Sgt. Ana Pile with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to a two-vehicle accident near mile marker 114 on I-77 South. It happened around 6:30 Monday morning.

According to a criminal complaint, deputies saw two drivers outside their vehicles with airbags deployed and leaking fluids.

A deputy noted speaking with 29-year-old Timothy Wickline of Greenbrier County who was driving a Chevrolet Avalanche.

In the complaint, Wickline recounted to the deputy he believed he fell asleep in the northbound lane, crossed the center median and crashed into the southbound driver’s car. The deputy also said Wickline showed signs of impairment. Wickline also mentioned he was driving 70 mph with cruise control.

The driver of the southbound vehicle told law enforcement she was 28 weeks pregnant and knew it to be an “otherwise healthy fetus.” In the complaint, the driver told deputies after the crash she felt a “burning sensation in her lower abdomen and no longer felt the baby’s movement.”

The victim was then transported to CAMC General where the fetus was pronounced dead.

Kanawha County Chief Deputy Joe Crawford said the deputies’ observations about Wickline will play an important role in the case.

“The facts are the deputies that were on the scene observed, saw indications that lead them to believe there may be some impairment, they were able to draw blood and be submitted to the state police’s toxicology section,” he said. “What they observed is what led them to file the charges.”

He said nothing changes in the handling of the case regardless if the victim is an unborn fetus or a person occupying a seat in the car.

“It’d be no different had there been a passenger in the vehicle killed as a result, the intent or the act doesn’t change whether it was a fetus or another passenger being in the vehicle,” he said. “It’s a tragedy, our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the mother and family, you can only imagine losing a child.”

Wickline’s preliminary hearing is set for July 27.

He is being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond at the South Central Regional Jail.

He could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

For previous coverage:

Man charged after woman loses baby in crash

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