GALLIPOLIS FERRY — The Mayor of Point Pleasant and his wife are recovering after being involved in a motor vehicle accident on W.Va. 2 on Tuesday evening.
According to the Mason County Sheriff’s Department, a 2014 Toyota Camry driven by Shirley Billings of Point Pleasant was headed south on W.Va. 2 near the Par Mar gas station in Gallipolis Ferry. Her husband, Brian Billings, mayor of Point Pleasant, was the passenger.
The sheriff’s department says the Billings were slowing down and came to a stop due to two cars ahead of them also having come to a stop in the highway to make a left turn. At this time a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe driven by a juvenile was traveling behind the Billings’ sedan. The juvenile failed to stop and rear-ended the Camry driven by Shirley. According to witnesses, the Camry spun several times, was airborne for a brief moment and then crossed the northbound lane of traffic, eventually landing in the Par Mar parking lot. Luckily, no other vehicles were in the northbound lanes of W.Va. 2 when the accident occurred.
Shirley was taken by air medical helicopter to Cabell Huntington Hospital for treatment of her injuries with the mayor saying the force of the crash caused her to come into contact with the steering wheel, causing lung bruising. The mayor was taken by ambulance, also to Cabell Huntington Hospital. The mayor said he had a concussion, a cut on this elbow, multiple abrasions on his forehead, and general soreness after the impact. Both the mayor and his wife were released later Tuesday night.
The juvenile was cited in the accident for failure to maintain control. The mayor said he and Shirley have reached out to the juvenile and their family to see if they were doing well and to tell them, he and his wife have no ill will about what was simply an accident. The juvenile reportedly did not suffer any serious injuries, according to the sheriff’s department.
Since the accident, the mayor has said the outpouring of support from the community has been “overwhelming” and touching. He said he’s heard from family, friends, coworkers, church family members, city council members, and more. He wants to thank everyone for their support, concern and prayers.
The mayor also thanked all the first responders as well as the bystanders who were at the Par Mar station who helped he and his wife following the accident.
Responding to the scene in addition to the sheriff’s department, were the Point Pleasant Fire Department, Valley Fire Department, Mason County EMS personnel.
Still recuperating himself, the mayor says he hopes to possibly return to work Monday but said his main focus is his wife who is still dealing with her injuries while also recuperating at home. He said he has every intention of returning as soon as possible to carry on the business of the city.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.