Soldier dies in Sunday morn crash

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By Kate Darnell

The 201st Engineer Battalion is mourning the death of Daniel Westfall, 24, following an early Sunday morning car accident.

“We lost a good one,” said Sgt. Allen Fryman (ret.) Tuesday morning.

Westfall was traveling northbound on US 27 North when he lost control of the 2006 KIA Sportage he was driving, said Harrison County Sheriff’s Accident Reconstruction Specialist Dean Hutchison.

“We don’t know what caused him to go off the road,” Hutchison said. “...We’re looking at possibly speed as a factor.”

Sheriff’s Deputy Steve McCauley responded to the scene of the accident at 3:48 a.m.

Hutchison said that after leaving the roadway, Westfall’s vehicle flipped and was airborne numerous times before coming to rest.

“There was no evidence at the scene of alcohol,” Hutchison said.

Westfall was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hutchison said the accident remains under investigation.

Visitation was held at Ware Funeral Home Tuesday evening.

Funeral services will take place today at Matics Funeral Home in Clendenin, W. Va. at 1 p.m. Burial will follow in Westfall Cemetery in Clay County, W.Va.

A 2003 graduate of Harrison County High School, Westfall joined the National Guard soon after.

“You’re part of the family from the get go,” Fryman said.

Westfall had been home only a few months after serving with the 201st Engineer Battalion in Afghanistan.

“He was a gunner,” said Westfall’s platoon sergeant Sfc. Howard Curtis. “...He was a text book... the model gunner... He was the guy you could always count on to get the job done.”

“You asked him to do anything and he would do it...” Fryman said. “...and he always had that big smile.”

Fryman said other 201st Battalion soldiers who served with Westfall  overseas had been calling and visiting the armory within the past days.

“It’s family,” Fryman said. “You can imagine how it is when you lose a family member...”

Fryman said the Charlie Company wished to extend their sympathies to the Westfall family.

“His family is our family and will be forever,” Fryman said.

Curtis said members of the 201st Battalion will travel to West Virginia, where Westfall will receive full military honors at his funeral.

Complete obituary information can be found on page 6.