Deborah Y. VanDervort, Attorney at Law, for claimant.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.


On July 26, 1987, at approximately 2:30 p.m., Richard D. Persinger and
his family were
travelling in his employer, Westvaco's, 1986 Ford Bronco. Westvaco
leases the vehicle through
D. L. Peterson. They approached the intersection of Bluestone (Route 4)
and Dry Hill Road,
(Route 11), Raleigh County. Mr. Persinger attempted to make a left-hand
turn. There were
over-hanging rhododendron and white pine at the edge of the road. He was
unable to see a
motorcycle approaching, and an accident occurred when the motorcycle
struck the Bronco. The
operator of the motorcycle sued claimant. The case was settled for
$25,000.00 and claimant
now seeks $25,000.00 from respondent.

The day was one of bright sunshine. Mr. Persinger was towing a Datsun
trailer behind the
Ford Bronco. At the intersection he said he could only see approximately
twenty feet up the
road to the left. The motorcycle was headed toward Beckley on Dry Hill
Road and Mr.
Persinger's vehicle entered the highway in front of the motorcycle. He
was not familiar with the
accident site. He had visited this site only once and this was
approximately two years prior to
this incident. As he approached Dry Hill Road (Route 11), he was
travelling on Bluestone
(Route 4) and came to a stop sign. This was 10 to 15 feet back from
where Route 11 and
Route 4 intersect. Mr. Persinger was able to see the motorcycle 50 to 60
feet before the
accident. He explained that the flaring on the motorcycle struck the
Bronco. Bluestone (Route
4) is a two-lane, asphalt highway, and the speed limit was forty miles
per hour.

Mrs. Betty L. Treadway, who travels this route everyday, testified that
one's visibility on
Routes 11 and 4 is affected by the growth of vegetation. The vegetation
has been present for the
time in which she has lived in the area, which is several years.
Emerson Stover, Supervisor of Raleigh County for respondent, testified
that he lived near the
site of the accident. He received a complaint several summers before the
time of the incident,
but he could not give the exact date. He took the call himself. He
observed the intersection on
the day on which he received the complaint. He felt that no corrective
action was necessary and
he did not take any action. According to Mr. Stover, all of the
vegetation is on private property.
If he felt that there was a hazard on private property, he was the
individual responsible for
initiating the corrective action in Raleigh County.

Victor Carl Fitzwater, acting Assistant Supervisor in Raleigh County
for respondent, testified
that Routes 11 and 4 are State and local service roads. He had never
received any complaints
prior to this accident regarding this intersection. He visited this site
on December 14, 1988. He
observed at that time that 100 to 110 feet up the intersection an
individual was putting in a
driveway and that a few rhododendron bushes had been removed. He also
observed that the
pine trees had been topped "... apparently by the power company or
someone like that." The
rhododendron bushes were, at some placed, within four, eight inches of
the paved portion of the

There is disagreement over whether or not the vegetation posed a
hazard. It borders State and
local service routes which are not respondent's priority maintenance
roads. The sole complaint
received by respondent was investigated by a representative of the
respondent, the county
supervisor. For these reasons the Court is of the opinion to, and must,
deny the claim.

Claim disallowed.