Woman strikes man with Jeep

An Elkins woman is free on bond after being accused of intentionally hitting a man with her car over the weekend, seriously injuring him.

Martha Gardner, 57, of 251 Poe Run, was arrested Monday on charges of malicious wounding, a felony, and assault during the commission of or attempt to commit a felony, also a felony.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Randolph County Magistrate Court, at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Trooper C.E. Elliott with the Elkins detachment of the West Virginia State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on County Route 17 near Highland Park in Elkins. Upon arrival, Elliott was informed that the driver and passengers had walked away from the scene before he got there.

Elliott found a black 2004 Jeep Cherokee that belonged to Martha Gardner stuck in a ditch on the eastern side of the road and upon looking inside, found “several” alcoholic beverages strewn throughout, the complaint states.

About 30 minutes later, Richard Ryan, the alleged victim in the case, called Elliott on the telephone and told him that Gardner had struck him with her car. At 4 a.m., Elliott went to Davis Memorial Hospital, where Ryan was being treated for the injuries he suffered when Gardner allegedly hit him, to collect a verbal statement from him.

Ryan told the officer that he’d been involved in an argument that took place inside the vehicle prior to the accident.

He then exited the vehicle, which is when Gardner allegedly struck him with her Jeep.

On Saturday at 12:45 p.m., Elliott interviewed Gardner at the Elkins detachment.

“During the interview, (Gardner) can be heard denying all allegations, stating the victim (Ryan) was driving the car,” Elliott wrote in the complaint. “As the interview progresses, the accused can be heard confessing to driving the vehicle, leaving the scene, being intoxicated while driving the vehicle, attempting to strike the victim with the vehicle, and to showing back up at the victim’s residence following the incident.”

On Sunday, Ryan gave police a written statement at the Elkins detachment in which he noted that Gardner “has continuously texted and called him since the incident.”

Magistrate Rob Elbon set bond at $20,000 property or surety; Gardner is free on bond.

The penalty for a conviction of assault during the commission of or attempt to commit a felony is imprisonment in the state penitentiary for two to 10 years, or in the alternative, confinement in the regional jail for up to a year and a fine of up to $1,000.

Contact Katie Kuba by email at kkuba@theintermountain.com.