Police say driver lied about wreck

Man who initially claimed to be a passenger now facing charges

BUCKHANNON — Police now say the driver of the vehicle that pulled into the path of an Upshur County ambulance on Route 33 did not flee the scene. In fact, he stayed there and spoke with law enforcement, falsely claiming he was the passenger in the vehicle.

The Buckhannon Police Department have arrested Mark Hamrick, 26, of Weston — the man who initially claimed to be the passenger — for driving on a suspended or revoked license, second offense; obstructing an officer; and failure to yield the right of way at an intersection, all misdemeanors.

On Saturday, March 18, Patrolman First Class Marshall O’Connor responded to a wreck on Route 33 in which it was determined that a Chevy Impala traveling from the Old Weston Road to WBUC Road had stopped in the median and then pulled across Route 33, where it was struck by an ambulance traveling eastbound.

At the time, Hamrick told O’Connor that another person, Kryan Larsen, was driving and had fled the scene.

However, Larsen came forward and denied that he was in the vehicle.

O’Connor said in the criminal complaint that he was able to obtain surveillance footage from BFS on WBUC Road which captured the wreck. The footage shows only one person getting out of the Impala wearing black shorts and a dark colored shirt. Hamrick was wearing a black shorts and a green hoodie at the scene of the wreck.

The officer said he watched the footage until law enforcement arrived on scene and the video did not show any other person exiting the Chevy Impala. On March 25, O’Connor spoke with Hamrick, who again claimed that Larsen was driving and had fled the scene prior to law enforcement arriving.

The driver of the ambulance, Ray Rosencrance, told O’Connor that an individual wearing a green hoodie had come over to the ambulance to ask if everyone was OK and said he was going to BFS to call 911. However, Rosencrance said he told the man to stay and speak with law enforcement.

Hamrick did stay at the scene and was even taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital to be checked out for possible injuries. Rosencrance and the passenger in the ambulance, Sarah Abbott, were also taken to the hospital to check for possible injuries.

After checking Hamrick’s license, it was determined that his  license was suspended effective May 23, 2014 and he previously pleaded no contest to driving suspended in February 2015 in Lewis County Magistrate Court.

Magistrate Kay Hurst set bond at $6,000. If convicted, Hamrick faces a fine of $100 to $500 for driving suspended/revoked second offense; up to one year in jail and/or a fine of $50 to $500 for obstructing an officer; and up to $100 fine and/or jail for up to 10 days for failure to yield right of way at an intersection.

BPD Chief Matt Gregory said, “Kryan Larsen is absolved of any wrong doing after a follow-up investigation.”

More In Local News