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Mountain Party's Baber hurt in I-79 wreck

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Bob Henry Baber, the Mountain Party's candidate for governor, said he and his two adult children are bruised, but lucky to be alive, after a collision Thursday along Interstate 79.

Baber and his kids, Jackie, 21, and Cody, 19, checked themselves out of Ruby Memorial Hospital on Thursday in hopes of catching an early Friday flight to Utah.

Baber's oldest daughter is getting married there on Saturday and he is going against doctors' wishes. They wanted him to stay overnight for an evaluation. He said he is wearing a neck brace.

"I'm a little banged up, a little bruised and my car has seen its better days," he said. "Anytime you tango with a semi truck and it cuts you off and slaps you around by the tail end, and you walk way from that, you've got to thank God."

Baber was driving near Morgantown en route to Pittsburgh International Airport when a Peterbilt tractor-trailer moved into his lane and collided with his Jeep, said West Virginia State Police Trooper J.G. Baker.

Baber said it was pouring rain when he pulled over to call the police. Troopers stopped the truck about seven miles away on Interstate 68, the trooper said.

The driver of the truck, Scott Lunsford, 44, of Clarkesville, Ga., was cited for failure to maintain control, Baker said. Lunsford did not know that he had struck Baber's Jeep, the trooper said.

Baber drove his Jeep from the scene of the collision to meet up with police and initially declined a hospital visit, he said. He later agreed to be transported to West Virginia University's Ruby Memorial Hospital for a precautionary check on himself and his children.

Jackie and Cody are bruised and sore but do not have any serious injuries, Baber said, adding that after Saturday's wedding, they will return to a hospital for a checkup.

The election for governor is Oct. 4. Early voting starts Wednesday.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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