One dies in fatal car accident; other driver suspected of DUI - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

One dies in fatal car accident; other driver suspected of DUI

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A car accident that happened on March 17 has left one driver dead and the other suspected of DUI.

According to a release sent to 13 News, Deborah L. Rakes, of Kenova, WV was hit head-on by a Dodge Caravan on Fifth Street Hill.  The Dodge Caravan was driven by Michael Shane Couch, of Huntington. 

Both drivers were pulled from their vehicles and transported to Cabell Huntington Hospital for treatment.  Rakes died from her injuries.

Police say they obtained evidence indicating Couch was under the influence of alcohol.   According to police, records also show Couch has a number of prior DUI convictions and he was driving on a revoked license for DUI.

Police obtained an arrest warrant for Couch and expect to charge him with DUI causing death.  Additional charges are possible.




Huntington Police say the accident happened around 1 p.m. Sunday, March 17.

Two cars collided head-on. Both drivers were taken to Cabell Huntington Hospital and are listed in critical condition.

The drivers were the only occupants in their respective vehicles.

The road has been reopened.


According to Cabell County dispatchers, 5th Street Road at I-64 is closed and will be for an extended amount of time due to a multiple vehicle accident with entrapment.

Emergency crews and law enforcement are urging drivers to use caution on the roadways and avoid that intersection. Anyone in the surrounding area should expect delays.

Keep checking for updates.