WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Sissonville Woman Says Columbia Pipeline Group Not Offering Fair Settlement

Reported by: Send eMail Kennie Bass
Videographer: Matt Durrett, Bob Aaron
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Dec. 11, 2013 6:29 PM EST
Updated: Dec. 11, 2013 6:35 PM EST

EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

Pipeline Explosion Anniversary
Eyewitness News Photo

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

Margaret Johnson says the Columbia pipeline explosion was a nightmare, one that she relives every day.

"My life has changed in every possible way," Johnson said. "I still have recurring nightmares of the fireball from hell that chased me the day I thought it was going to kill me."

Johnson was home when the pipeline ruptured and erupted into a massive ball of flame. It was across Route 21 from her house, but close enough to melt the residence's siding. She burned her hand and feet trying to escape. While she did manage to escape, and save a small dog in the process, Johnson says it was a terrifying experience.

"I've had surgery on my thumb that I mangled in my car door from the heat that day," Johnson said. "I left my home that day not knowing if I was going to survive getting out of the area or not. My sons were both at work, I left without a cell phone, they had no way to contact me."

Johnson says Columbia made a settlement offer which she rejected, prompting her to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages. Both Johnson and her attorney say Columbia's assertions the company wants to take care of the people impacted by the explosion don't ring true in her case.

"They've treated her extremely poorly," Truman Griffith said. "She's not the only person that was treated poorly after this but she's the one that is still dealing with it from a legal standpoint to this day."

While many of her neighbors have settled with Columbia, Johnson says she feels trapped, and will be until she can finally move on from December, 11 2012.

"The longer that I have to remain in this state of suspended animation not knowing where I'm going to live, where I'm going to be able to afford to live, it makes it worse," Johnson said.

A Columbia Gas Pipeline spokeswoman released this statement: "It is our company policy not to comment on pending litigation, but I can tell you that we have worked tirelessly with many of the residents that were impacted by this incident. In fact, we have settled with over 85% of the claims made to date - working closely with residents to make them whole and to restore a sense of normalcy. We remain committed to doing the right thing in Kanawha County."



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Chemical Safety Board Examining Inside Of Freedom Industries Tank
News
Apr. 24, 2014 5:22 PM EDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Chris Williams, Heath Harrison) ...
Full News Story

Some See Correlation Between Dropout, Crime Rates
News
Apr. 24, 2014 7:11 PM EDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Taisha Walker) -- The 19-year-old ...
Full News Story and Video

MU Students Donate To Locks Of Love
News
Apr. 24, 2014 7:25 PM EDT
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (Elizabeth Noreika) -- Students at ...
Full News Story and Video


News Charleston Police Say Young Man Shot Wednesday Night On West Side Has Died
Apr. 24, 2014 6:45 PM EDT
News YMCA Hosting Healthy Kids Day
Apr. 24, 2014 6:46 PM EDT
News Graffiti Painted on Huntington Murder Victim's Residence
Apr. 24, 2014 6:41 PM EDT
News Circus Arrives In Town
Apr. 24, 2014 6:45 PM EDT
News 3 Judges Deciding Mayor's Fate
Apr. 24, 2014 5:51 PM EDT
News Ashland School Ordered To Shelter in Place
Apr. 24, 2014 5:02 PM EDT
News Putnam County Man Facing Charges Following Police Pursuit On An ATV
Apr. 24, 2014 4:23 PM EDT
News Major Oil And Gas Firm To List Drilling Chemicals
Apr. 24, 2014 4:05 PM EDT
News Tomblin Sets Up STEM Council
Apr. 24, 2014 4:03 PM EDT
News Construction Worker Killed During Bridge Work In Lawrence County, Ohio
Apr. 24, 2014 4:22 PM EDT
News New Marshall University Basketball Coach Dan D'Antoni Has Deep Ties To School
Apr. 24, 2014 4:00 PM EDT
News Charleston Swears In Six New Police Officers
Apr. 24, 2014 2:29 PM EDT
News New River Gorge National River Fire 90 Percent Contained
Apr. 24, 2014 1:41 PM EDT
News LimeLight Theatre Company Presents "The Three Musketeers"
Apr. 24, 2014 12:52 PM EDT
News Court Documents Say Police Chase, K-9 Unit Led Police To West Side Murder Suspects
Apr. 24, 2014 1:34 PM EDT
News Special Kanawha County Prosecutors Sworn In To Handle Cases
Apr. 24, 2014 1:35 PM EDT
News Fayette County Man To Spend Three Years In Prison For Burning Cats
Apr. 24, 2014 9:57 AM EDT
News Judge Bars Plants And Office From Handling Certain Domestic Violence Cases
Apr. 23, 2014 6:51 PM EDT
News Mullens Girls Gather Donations For Charleston Orphanage
Apr. 23, 2014 11:18 PM EDT
News Potential Layoff Notices Worry Miners In Boone County
Apr. 23, 2014 6:44 PM EDT
News 85th Habitat Home Dedicated In Cabell County
Apr. 23, 2014 6:34 PM EDT
News Police Say Bystander Wounded In Shooting On Charleston's West Side
Apr. 23, 2014 10:57 PM EDT
News Local Team Headed To National Cheerleading Competition
Apr. 23, 2014 10:33 PM EDT
News Logan County Woman Reported Missing
Apr. 23, 2014 11:28 PM EDT
News Teenage Girl Killed In Boone County Crash
Apr. 23, 2014 10:58 PM EDT
News Plaintiff In EPA Lawsuit Endorses Lane For Congress
Apr. 23, 2014 9:28 PM EDT
News WV Democrats Call on Jenkins To Condemn Ryan Budget
Apr. 23, 2014 8:50 PM EDT
News Search Called Off In Reported Plane Crash In Kanawha; Plane Lands Safely At Yeager
Apr. 24, 2014 5:00 PM EDT
News Police Say Three Arrested In Huntington Drug Bust
Apr. 23, 2014 10:34 PM EDT
News Kanawha Judge Bars Kanawha Prosecutor, His Office From Prosecuting Certain Cases
Apr. 23, 2014 3:07 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
W.Va. tourism commissioner retiring

West Virginia Tourism Commissioner Betty Carver is retiring after a 37-year career working for the state.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Severe storms loom across central US this weekend

A large section of the Midwest and South are at risk for strong tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash flooding this weekend.
Full Story

Ohio News
Democrats outraise GOP incumbents in 3 Ohio races

Ohio Democrats have outraised incumbent Republicans in three statewide races this reporting period, while GOP Gov. John Kasich strengthened his fundraising lead.
Full Story

PREVIOUS NEWS: NOV | CURRENT







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.