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UPDATE: Deputies Investigating Deadly Interstate Accident


UPDATE 12/24/13 @ 5:30 p.m.
INSTITUTE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An early morning interstate accident has killed an Indianapolis man. It happened about 6 a.m. Tuesday near the Institute entrance of Interstate 64 West in Kanawha County.

John Charles Miller, 65, was killed when the tractor-trailer he was driving crashed into a semi merging onto the interstate.

West Virginia Division of Highway Officials tell WSAZ.com it’s one of the worst accident seen in decades.

“The extensive amount of damage to the cab was some of the worst I've seen in my career, close to almost 20 years. It's some of the worst damage I've seen,” DOH safety officer Shane Hudnall said.

The damage to Miller’s cab of his trailer was so severe it took nearly six hours for deputies to identify his body.

“Fatalities are always tragic but even more so when it hits this close to the holidays,” Hudnall said.

The other driver, Michael Powell of Winfield, W.Va., suffered only minor injuries and was taken to Thomas Memorial Hospital.

The early morning crash shut down the west bound lanes of the interstate for the entire morning. Traffic was detoured along Route 25.

Deputies tell us they are looking into the possibility that speed might be involved. A full toxicology exam is also being performed to determine whether Miller suffered from a medical condition or heart attack before the crash. As is routine, deputies will also look into whether drugs or alcohol played a role.



UPDATE 12/24/13 @ 12 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- I-64 West has reopened after a deadly accident in Kanawha County.

It happened near the Institute exit about 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Deputies say the driver of a tractor trailer carrying ash was merging onto I-64.

Deputies say John Charles Miller of Indianapolis was driving another tractor trailer and crashed into the back of that semi.

Miller died at the scene.

The driver of the ash truck was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information on this story.



UPDATE 12/24/13 @ 12 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Deputies have released the name of a man who was killed in a tractor trailer crash in Kanawha County.

Deputies say the driver of a tractor trailer carrying ash was merging onto I-64 at the Institute exit about 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Deputies say John Charles Miller of Indianapolis was driving another tractor trailer and crashed into the back of that semi.

Miller died at the scene.

The driver of the ash truck was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

All lanes of I-64 West are closed. Traffic is being diverted off the interstate at the Dunbar exit.

Deputies say traffic seems to be moving smoothly along Route 25 which is the detour route.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 12/24/13 @ 9:15 a.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- I-64 West near the Institute exit is expected to be closed until about noon because of a deadly accident.

Deputies say the driver of a tractor trailer carrying ash was merging onto I-64 at the Institute exit about 6 a.m. Tuesday.

The truck was hit from behind by another semi truck.

The driver of the ash truck was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The driver of the other truck was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputies say they have not been able to identify him because of the extensive damage caused by the impact.

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Department has a reconstruction unit on the scene to find out what factors led to the accident.

All lanes of I-64 West are closed. Traffic is being diverted off the interstate at the Dunbar exit.

Deputies say traffic seems to be moving smoothly along Route 25 which is the detour route.

Deputies say they hope to have the lanes back open by noon.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information on this story.



UPDATE 12/24/13 @ 6:33 a.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An early morning crash involving a pair of tractor trailers killed one person, injured another, and forced the closure of Interstate 64 West just beyond the Institute exit.

It happened just before 6 a.m. Tuesday. Investigators say one semi crashed into another that was in front of it. The driver of the rear truck died at the scene, while the driver of the front truck was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

Traffic is being diverted off I-64 West at the Institute exit and onto Route 25.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



ORIGINAL STORY 12/24/13 @ 6:09 a.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A wreck on Interstate 64 West has forced the closure of all lanes of the road just past the Institute exit.

The crash happened just before 6 a.m. Tuesday.

We have a crew on the way to the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.


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