“President of Buckhannon” arrested in Lowes parking lot

BUCKHANNON — A Buckhannon man claiming to be the town’s “president” was arrested after reckless driving prompted a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon, January 26.

According to court documentation, Upshur County Sheriff Deputy Tanner Collins stated, “while sitting there [at a red light], a gold SUV traveling at a high rate of speed in the turning lane passed a school bus that was driving in the lane heading straight.” The deputy attempted to stop the male driver, later identified as Travis Michael Lane, age 32.

In the criminal complaint, Deputy Collins stated he caught up with the SUV near the Rt. 20 underpass, but the fleeing driver took a hard left turn at the Lowes stoplight, through oncoming traffic, continuing at high speed into the hardware stores parking lot. The defendant’s vehicle came to an abrupt stop near the Lowes loading bay, where he allegedly pointed his hand out the window towards the passenger side.

The complaint states that Deputy Collins ordered Lane out of the vehicle and placed him in handcuffs. Collins stated that a strong odor of alcohol could be detected coming from the defendant. Upon inquiry, Lane reportedly said that he was trying to get the 4-year-old juvenile passenger in his car to the hospital, because she had COVID-9 and was “spitting up blood.”

When questioned as to the defendant’s erratic driving, he reportedly said that he cared more about his little girl than the other people. As the deputy attempted to put Lane into his patrol vehicle, he resisted and was ultimately forced to the ground. During this interaction, Lane stated he knew his rights and demanded a blood test. The defendant also insisted he should be released because he was the “president of Buckhannon.”

Upon return to the Sheriff’s Office, Lane declined to perform a breathalyzer or field sobriety tests and was eventually taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital to perform a blood draw. He later admitted to having been drinking the night before and not having slept for “a couple days.” During the entire event, the defendant displayed slow and slurred speech, trouble walking and glassy eyes.

As for the girl in Lane’s car, the child’s mother reported to Upshur County Sheriff’s Sgt. Theron Caynor that the defendant was the child’s sole caretaker during that day and that, to her knowledge, no other adults were around. CPS responded to the scene and returned the 4-year-old to her mother.

Lane is being charged with fleeing with reckless indifference, fleeing while driving under the influence and child neglect creating risk of injury. He is currently being held at Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $75,000 cash only bond.


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