Bizarre Coverup Alleged in West Virginia

The West Virginia State Police are investigating what appears to be a failed attempt by one or more volunteer firefighters to cover up for an accident involving their fire chief.

On December 17, 2011 Beverly Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Jeffery Pritt was involved in an accident that police believe was alcohol related. Chief Pritt was allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road, lost control, and wrecked his truck on the Files Creek Road. The fire department responded to the call, and Cody Daniels, a firefighter who also happens to be an off-duty Randolph County Deputy Sheriff, reportedly told the investigating trooper that he was the driver of the truck. Chief Pritt was not at the scene.

Police have charged Chief Pritt with leaving the scene of an accident, driving left of center, and failure to report an accident. Daniels has been suspended without pay from the Sheriff’s Office. He apparently already pled guilty to charges of driving on the wrong side of the road for the December 17th crash.

The West Virginia State Police, Randolph County Sheriff, and the Beverly Volunteer Fire Department are continuing to investigate the alleged cover-up. More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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