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UPDATE | Crash victim speaks about ongoing high water issues on I-64

(WSAZ)
Published: May. 30, 2019 at 4:39 PM EDT
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UPDATE 5/31/19 @ 5:45 p.m.

When it rains in the Tri-State, drivers typically have to keep an eye out for high water, but many are fed up with issues on one heavily traveled road.

Drivers and law enforcement tell WSAZ that Interstate 64, especially near the 29th Street exit, has several dips in the road that often collect high water and problem-causing puddles.

Drivers claim the problem got worse after the highway was widened and construction wrapped up in 2015.

On Thursday, a woman was injured after her car hydroplaned and flipped near mile-marker 13.

"I tried to get control of it, but with the dips in the road there was no recovering," victim Evie Davis Garcia said.

Once the car stopped, she climbed out of the sunroof. Now, Garcia has a fractured spine.

"I was serene through it all. It was almost like it was in slow motion," she said.

When we heard a similar story back in 2017, WSAZ reached out to the West Virginia Department of Transportation. They said they were aware of the issue and looking for a way to mitigate the problem.

"This is too long to be dealing with the same problem," Garcia said.

On Friday, they provided a similar statement when asked what is being done about the high-water issues and dips in the roadway.

The statement from DOT's communications department said, "The safety of West Virginians and all those traveling through our great state is always the Department of Transportation’s top priority. We work hard to assess the safety conditions of every road statewide and address conditions as they arise or make improvements when needed. During inclement weather conditions, drivers should be mindful that operating speeds should be reduced and extra attention paid to the task at hand."

Garcia said many drivers know of the issues in that area and slow down when it rains. On Thursday, she was going about 55 mph before the accident -- an accident she said could have been prevented.

"The roads need to be fixed. It's a miracle that I'm alive," she said.

Garcia works for Marshall Health. She wants to encourage people to have healthy lifestyles and wear their seatbelt. She believes its one of the reasons she is alive today.

She said when she climbed out of her wrecked Hummer, several people came to her rescue. Her license plate reads "HOPE4ALL" and she wants to provide hope for others, like the strangers on the interstate did for her.


UPDATE 5/30/19 @ 8:30 p.m.

Police say the woman who was driving a Hummer is lucky to be alive Thursday after she hydroplaned and the vehicle flipped on I-64 in Huntington.

A little before 4:30 Thursday afternoon, police say she was traveling east on I-64 when she crashed at mile marker 13 near the 29th Street exit.

The victim tells WSAZ she had to climb through the sunroof after the vehicle flipped several times.

Police say, amazingly she was up and walking around shortly afterward.

Police say standing water on that stretch of I-64 has been an ongoing issue. They say it's not definite that was the cause of the crash, but it had been raining heavily.

Traffic was backed up for miles on the interstate as crews cleared the scene.

Natalie Cobb was on her way back to Cross Lanes. She had just picked up family members at the airport, including her twin grandchildren, who naturally didn't take the delay well.

"It feels very long when you've got two babies who just got off a plane that are hungry and wanna go home," Cobb said. "They're tired."

Cobb says she wishes something could be done to make that section of road safer when it's raining.

"In Cross Lanes they fixed the hill where all the tractor-trailers did it," she said. "They should be able to do it here."

After the accident, WSAZ reached out to the Department of Highways to see if they have any plans to address the issue of standing water on that section of I-64. WSAZ hasn't heard back yet as of Thursday evening.


UPDATE 5/30/19 @ 5:40 p.m.

All lanes of I-64 are back open in Cabell County after a rollover crash Thursday evening.

Around 4:15 p.m., a driver hydroplaned and crashed just before the 29th Street exit.

According to Huntington Police, the driver is expected to be OK. She was alert when she was taken to the hospital.

Police say they see a lot of wrecks on that part of the interstate when it rains.


UPDATE 5/30/19 @ 5:05 p.m.

A woman injured Thursday afternoon after hydroplaning in a rollover crash on Interstate 64 East was taken to the hospital but is expected to be OK, Huntington Police say.

Police say the driver, who was in a Hummer H3, hydroplaned before the 29th Street exit. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance and alert at the time she was transported.

Interstate 64 East is still closed in that area because oil spilled onto the highway. It is expected to be closed for at least another hour.

The crash was reported around 4:15 p.m.

Police say they see a lot of wrecks on that part of the interstate when it rains.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.


ORIGINAL STORY 5/30/19

A rollover crash Thursday afternoon has closed Interstate 64 East between the 29th Street and Hal Greer Boulevard exits, Cabell County 911 dispatchers say.

One westbound lane is also closed in that area.

One person is hurt, dispatchers say.

The accident happened around the 13-mile marker in the eastbound lanes. It was reported around 4:15 p.m.

We have a crew at the scene.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.