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Lorain man dies after being run over by tractor-trailer in West Virginia


A Lorain man is dead following a July 2 accident in West Virginia.

Christopher Totten, 29, died from his injuries after a 2006 Peterbilt tractor pulling a trailer loaded with lumber struck him in the road.

Preston County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Paul Pritt said Totten was lying in the road when he was struck by the tractor trailer at approximately 4:30 a.m.

The driver, Harry Whetsell Jr., 58, of Addison, Pa., attempted to avoid Totten but said he was unable, according to a news release from the Preston County Sheriff’s Office.

Pritt would not comment on whether drugs or alcohol use was suspected in the crash and said he was waiting for results of a toxicology test. A spokesman for the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner could not be reached for comment.

Totten, who lived in Lorain, was working a painting job in West Virginia with four or five friends, according to Pritt.

He had been with the friends earlier that day, but they were not with him during the accident.

Pritt said foul play is not suspected in the crash, and Totten did not have a vehicle in the area where the crash occurred — on West Virginia state Route 26 near the entrance of Preston High School.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or

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