The van was being used by Dudley's Florist for deliveries. For some reason police haven't determined yet, the youth apparently stole the van while it was parked outside Dudley's, which is located near Parkersburg High School. Minutes later, it was spotted by a city police officer at a stoplight near Route 50 and Interstate 77.
"The police officer got out of his vehicle and walked up to the driver's window," says Parkersburg Police Chief Bob Newell, "and said something to the driver. The driver then went around the truck that was in front of him, and took off out Route 50."
The van was later spotted driving at a high rate of speed. Eventually, the van flipped over on Loomis Ridge Road. The driver, identified as Adam C. Arthur, was dead at the scene.
What compounds this tragedy is that students here at PHS are just getting over the death of another student, who was killed in an accident last Thursday. Funeral services for that victim were held on Sunday.
"Two different situations, but the bottom line is, there is a tragic loss in both situations," says Bill Niday, Superintendent of Schools in Wood County. "First and foremost, our condolences go out to the families involved. And, of course, the schools feel a loss when a young man has been taken in the prime of his life."
The Wood County Sheriff's Office is seeking information from anyone in the Red Hill Road and Loomis Ridge area who witnessed Arthur in that area Tuesday morning.
If you have any information, you're asked to call Deputy Brett Pickens at the Sheriff's Department. The number is 304-424-1834.