Resident distraught after ambulance ride turns helicopter on the rough road of Rines Ridge

Marshall County

Mr. Parsons says he’s left with a helicopter bill of over $3,000. It's a bill he wants the people responsible for the road to pay.

MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) — Country roads come with their bumps and bends, but when an emergency happened on one bruised road in Marshall County, the ambulance was nixed and replaced with an even pricier mode of transportation. 

Now looking at the bill, one resident tells 7NEWS that the people truly responsible for the road should pay up! 

They wouldn’t take her to the hospital in the ambulance because this road here and Route 2. This is Route 76, Rines Ridge Road.

Leonard Parsons, resident of Rines Ridge Road

It’s on this road that Leonard Parsons and his wife have made a life for 40 years. His wife recently fell and hurt her back. She left in an ambulance, but she didn’t arrive to the hospital on wheels. 

They run her two miles out here to the helicopter pad and sent her to the hospital. 

Leonard Parsons, resident of Rines Ridge Road

He says the last six years have been rough to Rines Ridge. Gas and oil pads have moved in. 

A couple months before the expensive trip the hospital, Mr. Parsons was already calling the DOH. 

It’s terrible. The holes; they’re everywhere in the turns. The ditches are filled in. 

Leonard Parsons, resident of Rines Ridge Road

7NEWS reached out to Marshall County’s DOH District Engineer, Tony Clark. Clark admits there are some bad patches on Rines Ridge, in part due to the heavy traffic. Clark says the gas and oil company, Tug Hill, is the primary operator on the road. Clark says the company has not given funds to make repairs. However, Tug Hill has made the commitment to do the repairs themselves. 

“Nothing’s been done,” said Parsons.

For some context, Clark says on these county roads, a gas and oil company is responsible to maintain the route after they bond a route. To be released from the bond, the company must leave the road at good or better condition. 

But Mr. Parsons says damage is done, and he’s left with a helicopter bill of over $3,000. It’s a bill he’ll have to sell a car to pay off. 

“I think the wells and the state otta have to pay for that,” said Parsons. 

With his wife’s health not doing the best right now, Mr. Parsons fears yet another helicopter bill.

The DOH says it is actively working with the companies on the road to get them to maintain the areas they’ve torn up. 

There are no details right now on where repairs stand. 

The DOH says it is actively working with the companies on the road to get them to maintain the areas they’ve torn up.

There are no details right now on where repairs stand.

7NEWS reached out to Tug Hill regarding Rines Ridge. They have yet to comment.

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