Several crashes reported on I-79

Multiple weather-related crashes reported on I-79
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 5:47 AM EST
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Icy and rainy conditions following a light dusting snow in the region led Thursday morning to several crashes in the Kanawha Valley.

As of 5:50 a.m. Thursday, Interstate 79 was closed at mile-marker 7.

Two people inside a car were transported to the hospital after their vehicle became pinned between two tractor-trailers.

I-79 crashes Thursday, Nov. 17
I-79 crashes Thursday, Nov. 17(WSAZ)

The extent of the two victims’ injuries is unknown at this time.

The Pinch Fire Chief tells the icy conditions made it impossible for crews to get their trucks to the middle of the bridge safely, so crews walked their tools to the middle of the bridge.

The chief says crews ended up crawling to the crash scene on their knees because of the severe ice. The chief recused the victims from the vehicle after being tied off by crews on the other end of the bridge.

“I was working at the rear of the vehicle and I had one of my members tie me off because I was at the edge of the bridge where I didn’t particularly want to be but needed to be to extricate the person from the passenger side of the vehicle,” said Chief John Thaxton.

According to the chief, this is the sixth crash on the Little Sandy Bridge this year, and he warned drivers to be cautious and slow down.

“Especially on bridges and overpasses,” Thaxton said. “They freeze quicker than the normal roadway does, especially on higher expansion bridges, so you need to slow you speed down and increase space between vehicles.”

A second crash happened about a quarter mile away. I-79 North was shut down after a tractor-trailer jackknifed.

I-79 Little Sandy Bridge accident
I-79 Little Sandy Bridge accident(WSAZ)

Shorty after, a third crash was reported on the Elkview entrance ramp on I-79 South.

Before 6 a.m., dispatchers and first responders were also dealing with crashes on the westbound lanes of the new Nitro-St. Albans Bridge.

Additionally, crashes were reported on the Little Coal Bridge on U.;S. 119.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.