by J.R. Brammer
LOST CREEK -- A Webster County man died Monday on Interstate 79 after being struck by a truck in the breakdown lane while he and a woman were switching positions as driver and passenger, state police said.
Robert Brown, 43, of Webster Springs, died around 9 a.m.
His girlfriend, Alice Wolford, 44, of Diana, Webster County, was unhurt.
The driver of the truck, Earl R. Freeman, 39, of Mount Clare, has been admitted to United Hospital Center, authorities said.
"He's mentally distraught," said Sgt. Gerald Menendez, of the West Virginia State Police.
Police said they believe the crash was accidental.
Brown and Wolford were on their way to a doctor's appointment in Clarksburg.
Wolford, who had been driving the 1980s model Chevy north on I-79, told Brown that she wasn't feeling well.
They pulled over near the 113-mile marker, Menendez said.
Brown was hit by Freeman's 1997 Dodge truck after walking around the car to get behind the wheel.
Freeman, who coincidentally also was going to see a doctor, suffered a coughing fit and swerved from the right-hand lane, Menendez said.
Police said no charges have been filed. Authorities said they will discuss the incident with county prosecutors.
Staff writer J.R. Brammer can be reached at 626-1442 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.