ATHENS, Ohio – Troopers from the Athens Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol are investigating a single vehicle fatal crash that occurred on State Route 144 in Athens County.

At approximately 5 a.m. on Sunday, July 23, 2017, Travis J. Barber, 28, of Reedsville was driving a 1995 Chevrolet, C/K 1500 pick-up southbound on State Route 144. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Barber failed to negotiate a curve and slid off the left side of the road striking a ditch and a small group of trees. Barber fled the crash scene. He was later found at the Holzer Meigs Emergency Department in Pomeroy where he declined further treatment and was released.

A passenger in the vehicle, Michael L. Taylor, 54, of Coolville succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead on arrival by a representative from the Athens County Coroner Office.

Alcohol and drugs are suspected as contributing to the crash. Neither the driver nor the passenger wear wearing their safety belts.

The crash remains under investigation.