BUCKHANNON — A two-vehicle accident on Rt. 33 East claimed the life of a woman from Pennsylvania Monday night.
According to investigating officer Sgt. T. Posey, of the Buckhannon Police Department, Blanch Grannis was the victim of the fatal accident. The 84-year-old New Castle, Pennsylvania woman was reportedly pulling out of WBUC Rd. in a 2011 Chevy Cruz and attempting to cross the intersection near the Huddle House. Sgt. Posey said Grannis pulled out in front of a 2021 Subaru Forester traveling east on Rt. 33 that t-boned her car.
The car Grannis was driving reportedly spun around after the impact and was left sitting in the middle of the road while the other car came to rest in the median as oncoming traffic encountered the situation. Witness Tricia Dean said she was on her way home from work and two cars were immediately in front of her. “I saw one swerve, so I slowed down and the second one slammed on their brakes and their car started fishtailing as they ran into the median,” she reported. Dean said the Cruz was sitting in the middle of the road without its lights on as she approached.
Dean said she called 911 just as an approaching semi-truck was about to hit her vehicle, as well as the two involved in the accident. “There was debris on both sides of 33,” the witness observed as she tried to render help to the woman who was reportedly halfway out the window of her vehicle. “In the smaller red car, there was an older lady injured very badly; she couldn’t speak, but was able to nod her head when I asked her questions and spoke to her.” After checking on the occupants of the other car, Dean returned to Grannis and assured her help was on the way. The witness also mentioned the windshields of both vehicles were shattered and all the airbags were deployed.
Sgt. Posey confirmed Grannis was partially ejected through the driver’s side window. He said Upshur County EMS transported Grannis to the helicopter that life flighted her to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead at 11:21 p.m.
Haley McGill, 26, of Elkins, was reportedly driving the vehicle that collided with Grannis. Her passenger was 28-year-old Declan McGill and both allegedly walked away from the accident without any major injuries. The female only sustained a sore wrist from the airbag deployment and the male was uninjured, so both declined medical treatment on scene. Sgt. Posey reported the McGills were both wearing their seatbelts; however, Grannis was not and possibly would not have been ejected if she had been wearing her seatbelt.
Both vehicles were totaled, according to Sgt. Posey, and S&L Towing removed them from the scene. In addition to BPD, the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department, WV State Police, WV Division of Natural Resources Police, Buckhannon Fire Department, Warren District VFD and Upshur EMS responded. The eastbound lane of Rt. 33 was closed for approximately one hour and reopened to through traffic at 10:43 p.m.