MORGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WDVM)– Two people are dead after a road rage incident turned into a police chase on Wednesday afternoon. Police have now identified those involved.
Around 2:45 p.m. the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department received a report of road rage on WV 9 in Berkeley County that continued to Morgan County.
According to officials, a pickup truck driver was driving erratically southbound in Berkeley Springs. Berkeley Springs Police attempted to stop the suspect, but the suspect fled from police.
The suspect continued southbound on US 522 for several miles as police said they could not get the driver to stop.
The suspect swerved into the northbound lane and struck another vehicle head-on: a truck pulling a trailer with logs, leaving the log truck extensively damaged, police said, and two people injured.
Police said the suspect’s truck was also extensively damaged and a fire began under the hood. After using multiple fire extinguishers the fire could not be extinguished and the suspect’s truck became fully involved prior to fire units arriving.
The suspect was the only one in their truck and was extensively burned, according to police. They were pronounced dead at the scene
US 522 in both lanes was shut down for an extended period while the investigation was conducted, police said.
Richard Keefer, 53, of Berkeley Springs, WV, was the driver of the log-carrying truck. He was taken to Winchester Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Another passenger in the log-carrying truck, Robert Bowles, 36, is being treated at the Winchester Medical Center, according to police. His condition is unknown.
Police are presuming that the suspect was Dennis Allen Rhinehart, 76, of Berkeley Springs, WV based on a driver’s license found on his body.