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Assistant city attorney dies after head-on collision

By Candace Nelson

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Charleston's senior assistant attorney died from injuries sustained in a crash in the eastbound lanes of U.S. 60 in South Charleston late Monday night.

Eugene Webb, 36, left his colleagues, who remembered him for his upbeat personality, trying to cope Tuesday.

Webb smiled a lot and had a bright personality, City Attorney Paul Ellis said.

"We're trying to handle things. We just learned the news this morning," Ellis said Tuesday. "Since 2007, he worked as the senior assistant city attorney. And Eugene was a good friend of mine."

Webb grew up in East Bank and attended West Virginia University College of Law.

He was traveling westbound on MacCorkle Avenue about 11:45 p.m. Monday when he veered into the other lane, hitting a tractor-trailer head on, officials with the South Charleston Police Department said. It was unclear whether Webb had been distracted or fell asleep. The driver of the truck sustained minor injuries.

"We're shocked and saddened by the loss. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the family. I spoke with his father this morning. It's a very, very tough time this morning," Ellis said.

City flags flew at half-mast in his honor Tuesday.

"He's really going to be missed," Ellis said with his voice breaking. 

"We were friends, as well as worked together. He smiled a lot and always brought a lot of energy with him into whatever he did. He always wanted to try to help," he said. "It's going to take us some time. We will all really miss him. He was a great guy."

Mayor Danny Jones joined city employees in mourning.

"Gene was a very nice young man and a first-rate attorney who handled many of our cases in Municipal Court and helped with legal insights on other city issues," he said in a statement.

"He always treated people with respect and was a key part of our legal team. We're saddened by this sudden tragedy and join his family and many friends in mourning his loss."

The road in South Charleston, near Riverwalk Plaza, was shut down about midnight and remained closed about two hours after the crash.

Webb was not pronounced dead on the scene but died later as a result of injuries sustained in the crash, police said.

The South Charleston Fire Department also responded to the crash.

Contact writer Candace Nelson at or 304-348-5148. Follow her at

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