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


Interstate 81 Southbound Lanes Reopen, Only One Northbound Lane Open After Wrecks

Reported: Mar. 26, 2014 10:48 AM EDT
Updated: Mar. 26, 2014 4:56 PM EDT
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- State Police said Interstate 81 southbound lanes have reopened, but only one northbound lane is open Wednesday afternoon after two major accidents that claimed the lives of two people and injured 14.

West Virginia State Police Sgt. C. Zerkle said some of those injured in Wednesday morning's accident are in serious but stable condition.

The wrecks occurred after whiteout conditions developed on the interstate during heavy snow, creating a traffic nightmare. State Police said up to 45 vehicles were involved in the wrecks, with
15 to 20 of those vehicles sustaining serious damage.




HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- State Police said Interstate 81 northbound and southbound remains shut down Wednesday afternoon after two major accidents that involved up to 45 vehicles and claimed the lives of two people.

"It is such a mess up there, words can't describe it," West Virginia State Police Sgt. C. Zerkle said.

The accidents happened Wednesday morning near mile marker 21 in the Hedgesville area and are being blamed on whiteout conditions from heavy snow, Zerkle said. Five helicopters landed in the area to transport five to seven patients to various hospitals. Zerkle said several of those patients were in serious condition.

State Police estimated at noon that the highway would be closed for four to six hours. The accidents created a traffic nightmare. Zerkle said traffic is backed up into Maryland. Vehicles also are backed up on Route 11, which is being used as an alternative road.

Zerkle said 15 to 20 vehicles sustained serious damages in the crashes, and another 20 to 25 vehicles also were involved in the accidents. All available State Police in the area responded to the interstate crashes.




HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) – State Police said two multiple-vehicle accidents on Interstate 81 in the eastern part of the state have snarled traffic. Two people were killed in one of those wrecks.

State Police said about 8:45 a.m. Wednesday whiteout conditions occurred on I-81 due to heavy snow and wind. Troopers said they are investigating a seven-vehicle crash that resulted on northbound on I-81 at the 21-mile mark. Two confirmed fatalities are reported in the accident, and five to seven people have been flown to various hospitals.

Meanwhile, State Police said the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a 10-vehicle crash with numerous injuries that occurred on southbound I-81 in the same area. I-81 is closed in both directions at this time and will remain closed for two to three until the investigation is complete.

An alternate route has been established, which is Route 11 that parallels I-81. Travel is slow on the alternate route, however, due to heavy traffic volume.

There are signs in place at this time, indicating the alternate route.

Video of I-81 accident scene provided courtesy of Mykel Thompson.






HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- Some major accidents have snarled traffic on Interstate 81 in the eastern part of the state.

The state Department of Transportation said on its website that a vehicle accident on southbound I-81 occurred in Berkeley County at mile marker 24. Two of two southbound lanes are closed and two of two northbound lanes are closed

The DOT said travel is not advised and said motorists should be prepared to stop. Emergency vehicles are the road and clearing is in progress.

Meanwhile, the DOT said a vehicle accident on northbound I-81 northbound occurred at mile marker 21, where two of two northbound lanes are closed.

Caution also is advised while traveling through this area.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
State Fire Marshals Say Smoldering Cigarette Ignited Couch, Causing Fatal St. Albans Fire
News
Jul. 30, 2014 10:16 PM EDT
State fire marshals said a smoldering cigarette ignited ...
Full News Story and Video

Police Say Home Where Neglect Arrests Made Was In Deplorable Condition; Child Found Around Knives
News
Jul. 31, 2014 12:15 AM EDT
Three people are in jail after police said they found ...
Full News Story and Video

Miners Gather In Pittsburgh To Fight For Their Jobs
News
Jul. 30, 2014 11:11 PM EDT
Organized by the coal industry in West Virginia, Ohio ...
Full News Story and Video


News Subway Break-In Suspect Arrested
Jul. 30, 2014 11:52 PM EDT
News Reward In Braxton Animal Abuse Case Increases To $6,500
Jul. 30, 2014 11:31 PM EDT
News Blighted Homes An Issue All Over Charleston
Jul. 31, 2014 12:10 AM EDT
News Woman Accused Of Killing Mother Pleads Not Guilty
Jul. 30, 2014 11:08 PM EDT
News Hurricane Police Seek Suspect In Attempted Break-In
Jul. 30, 2014 11:10 PM EDT
News Detroit Suspect To Be Extradicted
Jul. 30, 2014 11:11 PM EDT
News Police Called To Middle School After Alleged Disturbance Involving Plants
Jul. 30, 2014 11:24 PM EDT
News Program Helps Children With Hearing Loss
Jul. 30, 2014 11:13 PM EDT
News AARP Driving Safety Class Helps Seniors In Many Ways
Jul. 30, 2014 10:19 PM EDT
News Fla. Mom Arrested For Letting Son, 7, Go To Park Alone
Jul. 30, 2014 10:14 PM EDT
News Northbound Lanes Of East River Mountain Tunnel On I-77 To Remain Open
Jul. 30, 2014 10:12 PM EDT
News Another Tornado Confirmed In West Virgina
Jul. 30, 2014 10:08 PM EDT
News Campaign For Cato: MU Star's Heisman Quest Is Launched
Jul. 30, 2014 10:04 PM EDT
News It's Never Too Late For Adults To Learn To Swim
Jul. 30, 2014 9:55 PM EDT
News Ex-Mingo Judge Reports To Florida Prison
Jul. 30, 2014 9:52 PM EDT
News Kenova Police Seek Help In Finding Theft Suspect
Jul. 30, 2014 9:50 PM EDT
News Friday Is Deadline For Jan. 9 Chemical Spill Claims
Jul. 30, 2014 9:47 PM EDT
News Hundreds Of Citations Handed Out In WV For Texting, Cell Phone Use While Driving
Jul. 31, 2014 12:10 AM EDT
News Police Say Teen Robbed In Downtown Charleston
Jul. 30, 2014 9:39 PM EDT
News Charges Dropped Against WVU RB
Jul. 30, 2014 9:33 PM EDT
News Elderly Woman Fights Off Intruders
Jul. 30, 2014 9:27 PM EDT
News Saints Coach Says Facilities Are "Pretty Amazing"
Jul. 25, 2014 10:25 AM EDT
News PETA Oposes Using Animals In WV Testing
Jul. 25, 2014 10:10 AM EDT
News Man Accused Of Stealing ATV, Crashing After Pursuit
Jul. 25, 2014 10:09 AM EDT
News WV Clinic Operator Faces Disciplinary Hearing
Jul. 25, 2014 10:31 AM EDT
News Search Under Way For Missing Man In Roane County
Jul. 25, 2014 9:23 AM EDT
News Junior Troopers To Graduate Academy
Jul. 25, 2014 9:12 AM EDT
News Blood Drive Held In Downtown Charleston Friday
Jul. 25, 2014 8:37 AM EDT
News WV State To Hold Emergency Drill Friday
Jul. 25, 2014 8:18 AM EDT
News Man Stabbed In Charleston
Jul. 25, 2014 7:46 AM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
W.Va. board to consider scholarships, degree

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission will consider nursing scholarships and a bachelor's degree in engineering management at Bluefield State College.
Full Story

Kentucky News
In Kentucky, execution debate finds new footing

Kentucky lawmakers are set to embark on a discussion of whether executions should have a place in Kentucky's criminal justice system and, if so, how should it be carried out.
Full Story

Ohio News
Access limited to Ohio facial-recognition system

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office says fewer than 6,000 law-enforcement officers statewide now have access to facial-recognition technology.
Full Story







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.