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UPDATE: Ripley Woman Killed in I-77 Crash in Sissonville

By: Brooks Jarosz, Anna Baxter, Jeremy Edwards Email
By: Brooks Jarosz, Anna Baxter, Jeremy Edwards Email

UPDATE 6/1/12 @ 9 a.m.
SISSONVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputies have released the name of the woman killed in an accident along Interstate 77 in Kanawha County.

The accident happened just before 1 p.m. in the southbound lanes near the Tuppers Creek exit.

According to the news release, April Marie Starcher, 28, of Ripley, was driving a Chrysler Sebring when she crossed the median and hit a FedEx truck head-on.

April was pronounced dead at the scene.

The truck driver, Michael L. Davis, 57, of Columbiana, Ohio, was taken to CAMC General where he remains in the ICU.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The north and southbound lanes of I-77 were closed for several hours until the accident was cleared.



UPDATE @ 10:30 p.m.
SISSONVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Crews at the scene of a deadly crash on I-77 say it is the third accident involving a semi-truck that they've cleaned up in the past few days.

"It's one of the worst accidents I've ever seen," said John Stover, who works for the Department of Transportation. "Just from the amount of damage from the cars that was spread."

Officials say a northbound vehicle crossed the center line into the path of a southbound Fed-Ex semi-truck, instantly killing the driver of the vehicle - a 28-year-old woman from Ripley.

Amid all of the heartbreak, crews say cleaning up after a crash with a semi-truck is a lot more complicated, taxing and tiring.

"You have to have the bigger wreckers come out, and you usually have a lot more debris and a lot more damage to the roadway and the guard rails," said Stanley King, another Department of Transportation worker. "Usually you get more spillage of diesel fuel."

The truck on I-77 didn't go too far, but crews were quick to point out that's not always what they see.

"Sometimes we're there all day and into the next day trying to get the mess cleaned up," King said. "[Sometimes] tractor-trailers turn over and go over hillsides. The bigger the vehicle, the more time and equipment it takes to get everything cleaned up."



UPDATE @ 2:15 p.m.
SISSONVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman from Ripley has been killed
in an accident along Interstate 77 near the Tuppers Creek exit in Kanawha County.

The accident happened just before 1 p.m. in the southbound lanes.

According to witnesses at the scene, the car was traveling north when the driver crossed the median and hit a FedEx truck, carrying two trailers, head on.

All lanes of I-77 are now back open.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for updates.



UPDATE @ 1:15 p.m.
SISSONVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman from Ripley has been killed
in an accident along Interstate 77 near the Tuppers Creek exit in Kanawha County.

The accident happened just before 1 p.m. in the southbound lanes.

According to witnesses at the scene, the car was traveling north when the driver crossed the median and hit a FedEx truck, carrying two trailers, head on.

The truck drivers tell WSAZ.com after the accident the area along the interstate became filled with dust.

Skidmarks stretch for at least 100 feet on the interstate.

Right now, debris is still covering the southbound lanes of Interstate 77. The northbound and southbound lanes have been closed since the accident happened.

911 Dispatchers say the interstate will be closed for a while. Right now, traffic is being re-routed off the Tuppers Creek and Pocatalico exits. As of 3:15 p.m., traffic is backed up for at least 4 miles heading north towards Ripley.

Witnesses say the woman was driving a burgundy Chrysler Sebring, but all you can make of the car now is the front bumper and one of the axles.

The victim's best friend was driving in another vehicle, in front of her when she noticed her going off the road. The friend pulled over on the shoulder and ran back to help save her friend, but it was too late.

The victim's best friend tells WSAZ.com the woman was from Ripley.

The driver of the FedEx truck was taken to the hospital, but he's expected to be okay.

We have a crew at the scene. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY
SISSONVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One person is dead after an accident on I-77 South in Sissonville.

The accident happened near the Tuppers Creek Exit just before 1 p.m. Thursday.

Dispatchers say a tractor trailer and another vehicle collided.

I-77 in both directions are closed in the area. Emergency crews are diverting traffic off the interstate at the Tuppers Creek and Pocatalico exits.

Drivers are being asked to avoid the area because the interstate is expected to be closed for awhile.

We have a crew on the scene. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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