Man commits suicide during traffic stop

West Virginia State Police have released information about a suicide that occurred during a traffic stop in Pocahontas County. On Friday, May 15, at approximately 10:16 p.m., Senior Trooper R. A. Waid of the Marlinton Detachment of the State Police conducted a traffic stop on US Route 219 in Pocahontas County.

According to a police press release, during the traffic stop, Waid developed probable cause to arrest the driver, Jessie Allen Ragsdale, 32, of Hillsboro, for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. After placing Ragsdale in his cruiser, Waid started to approach Ragsdale’s vehicle in order to talk to the passenger. Before he could return to the passenger, the passenger exited the vehicle and shot himself in the head with a .22 magnum revolver. The passenger died at the scene.

The press release stated that the West Virginia State Police does not typically send a press release when a suicide is completed; however, it became necessary to do so in this instance due to misinformation circulating on social media and continuing requests for information from the media.

Police have not released the identity of the deceased passenger.