BUCKHANNON — A single vehicle accident on Tuesday morning led local law enforcement to discover the illegal possession of a firearm by a man driving without a license.
Chief Deputy Mike Coffman and Deputy Tyler Chidester responded to the wreck at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Hackers Creek Road in Buckhannon, where they found a silver Subaru car in the ditch with air bags deployed.
Tony Lee Metzler, 36, was reportedly the driver and the only person on scene who was admittedly in the car at the time of the crash. According to Chief Deputy Coffman, Metzler was traveling east from Lewis County into Upshur when he said he fell asleep and lost control of the vehicle.
As the officers were gathering evidence from the scene, they located a backpack in the ditch near the car that reportedly contained a High Point .380 handgun. Metzler allegedly claimed possession of the backpack, but said he was afraid of getting caught with the gun due to being a person prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Further investigation revealed that Metzler was also driving illegally, as he had a prior conviction of driving revoked for DUI in 2016 and still had his driving privileges revoked. The accused was charged with prohibited person in possession of a concealed firearm and second offense driving revoked for DUI.
If convicted of the felony offense of possessing the concealed handgun illegally, Metzler faces up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine not more than $10,000. Second offense driving revoked for DUI carries a possible penalty of a $100-$500 fine.
Magistrate Mark Davis set a combined cash or surety bond in the amount of $15,000 and Metzler will be subject to random drug and alcohol testing during the pendency of this case.