Traffic stop ends in tragedy

West Virginia State Police
Office of Public Affairs
Lt. Michael Baylous

On Friday, May 15, 2015, at approximately 10:16 p.m., Senior Trooper R. A. Waid, of the Marlinton Detachment, conducted a traffic stop on US Route 219 in Pocahontas County. 
During the traffic stop, Senior Trooper Waid developed probable cause to arrest the driver, Jessie Allen Ragsdale, age 32, of Hillsboro, for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  After placing Mr. Ragsdale in his cruiser, Senior Trooper Waid started to approach Mr. Ragsdale’s vehicle 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 West Virginia State Police does not typically send a press release in the event of a suicide; 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.

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