OPINION ISSUED DECEMBER 19, 1988
CHARLES R. WELCH, SR.
AND PHYLLIS J. WELCH
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS
Claimants appeared in person.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
On February 6, 1980, at about 9:30 p.m., claimants and their son
returning home from
church in their 1980 Chevette. Claimant Charles R. Welch was
on Route 13/2 into
Kanawha Falls, the place of their residence. Travelling at a low
he encountered ice on the
roadway at the location of a hairpin turn. He lost control of his
vehicle on the ice and slid into a
retaining wall. Claimants seek $441.90, which amount represents the
damages to their
Claimant Charles R. Welch testified that he travelled this route
practically every day as he lives
four tenths of a mile from the accident site. He had observed the
on the roadway the
evening of this accident when he and his family were driving to
The weather conditions
were clear and cold. Evidently, ice formed during the time of
stay in church.
Brady N. Workman, foreman at respondent's Glen Ferris Garage,
that he is familiar
with the area of the accident. This road had been treated prior to
February 6, 1988. He stated
that he had not received any complaints concerning ice at the place
the accident on the night it
occurred. He explained that there is a small area of ditch line at that
location because it is difficult
to get in there to make a ditch line.
Roads in this State, in the winter months, frequently accumulate
An isolated patch of ice
on a highway is generally insufficient to establish negligence on
part of respondent. Cole vs.
Dept. of Highways, 14 Ct.Cl. 350 (1983). It is well established
State neither insures
nor guarantees the safety of travelers on its highways. Adkins vs.
130 W.Va. 645, 46
S.E.2d 81 (1947). For these reasons, the Court is of the opinion
does, disallow this