Category Archives: Winter Roads

Snowy Weather Causing Accidents in Greenbrier County

From the Charleston Gazette:

Truck flips, closes I-64 in Greenbrier

A tractor-trailer flipped on its side, closing Interstate 64 near Dawson to eastbound traffic on Wednesday, a Greenbrier County 911 dispatcher said.

Members of the Smoot and Clintonville Volunteer Fire Departments shut down the interstate because of snowy weather conditions just before 8 p.m. after responding to the overturned trailer, she said.

Slippery conditions caused a number of accidents on I-64 Wednesday evening, including one near the state line, she said.

None of the accidents involved serious injuries, she said.

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Two Killed in Goldtown I-77 Crash

Note: Here you have two Home Depot employees traveling in an SUV, they lose control, possibly due to ice, and collide with a UPS tractor trailer. This case presents some complex issues. The article doesn’t actually say who was killed, but I am assuming it was the two Home Depot employees. Even assuming the driver of the SUV was negligent, which is an issue because the roads were icy, there are some potentially complex issues: Two sets of employees, both large companies. One of the vehicles was a UPS truck, the other was an SUV. Was the SUV owned by Hope Depot, or was it the private vehicle of the driver? Could the driver – and hence his private insurance policy – be liable? Were the Home Depot employees actually acting in the course of business? Does workers compensation immunity apply? Was the UPS driver negligent? Was the UPS driver injured? – John H. Bryan, West Virginia car accident attorney.

From today’s Charleston Gazette:

Two killed in Goldtown I-77 crash

By Staff, wire reports

Two people were killed Wednesday morning when a tractor-trailer struck the SUV they were traveling in on Interstate 77 near Goldtown, said B.W. DeWees, chief deputy for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

Michael D. Ferrier, 39, of Vincent, Ohio, and Amanda Diane Vaughan, 23, of Vienna, who were both Home Depot employees, were traveling from the Parkersburg store to the Charleston store, he said.

The accident happened around 7:30 a.m., DeWees said.

“As the SUV was passing a UPS tractor-trailer, the SUV ran off the road into the median, lost control, came back up into the roadway in front of the tractor-trailer,” he said. “The tractor-trailer was unable to stop and struck the vehicle.”

Ferrier was driving, and no other vehicles were involved in the accident, he said.

The snowy conditions may have contributed to the accident, DeWees said.

Also Wednesday, four people died in Jefferson County after the van they were in collided with a tractor-trailer on U.S. 340 near Harpers Ferry.

Sgt. Robert Sell with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department said the driver of the westbound van lost control due to icy conditions and slid into the eastbound lane, colliding head-on with the truck at about 6:40 a.m.

The three passengers in the van were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was taken to Jefferson Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m., said Sell.

The names of the victims weren’t immediately available.

Truckers in WV Don’t Think Twice About Driving on Icy Roads

From today’s Register-Herald:

Snowy roads cause traffic mess, road closures

By Amelia A. Pridemore
Register-Herald reporter

Old Man Winter refused to loosen his icy grip on southern West Virginia, slamming the region with a late afternoon snow Thursday that blanketed roadways and wreaked havoc on motorists.

Snow showers with areas of blowing snow struck the region early Thursday evening, and temperatures were dropping to the single digits, according to data from the National Weather Service. Wind gusts of around 20 mph caused wind chills to dip below zero.

Emergency responders throughout the region reported chaotic evening commutes.

In Raleigh County, Tams Highway (W.Va. 16) was shut down because a tractor-trailer was stuck on a mountain, blocking both traffic lanes. Airport Road in Beaver was shut down earlier in the evening, but it was reopened by 8 p.m.

Between 4 and 8 p.m., Raleigh County authorities handled nine vehicle accidents, the EOC said. Some resulted in injuries, but no wrecks appeared to be especially large.

State Division of Highways crews were out and treating the roadways, the EOC said. As of 8 p.m., roads throughout Raleigh County were slippery.

Fayette County’s roads were “nasty,” according to a dispatcher.

“When I came in (to work), it was nasty and it’s still nasty,” she said. “(U.S.) 19 is horrible.”

Several wrecks were reported throughout Fayette County early Thursday evening, but they were all minor, the EOC said.

Nicholas County dispatchers estimated three inches of snow had fallen in Summersville, and even more had likely fallen in higher elevations at Nettie and Richwood. However, few wrecks had been reported, and most only involved cars in ditches.

Summers County emergency personnel said only one minor wreck on Interstate 64 had been reported. While snow was not piled high, road conditions remained treacherous.

“They’re covered right now. They’re white,” a dispatcher said.

A Wyoming County dispatcher simply urged motorists to stay home, even though only minor accidents were reported.

“It’s pretty bad, and we’re trying to tell people to stay off the roads,” he said.

Greenbrier and Monroe counties reported very few accidents, although some roads remained slippery.

Schools in Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, Summers and Wyoming counties had already announced delays as of late Thursday evening.

Note: For some odd reason, most of us are concerned about driving in icy conditions, but not truckers. Many of them, especially in West Virginia, don’t even think twice about taking to icy and snowy roads – at least not until they are stuck somewhere or have already caused or been involved in a wreck. Because of the selfishness of the trucker driving down Tams Highway in Raliegh County, both lanes had to be closed. At least nobody was hurt this time due to a tractor trailer driver’s reckless indifference to the safety of other human beings. – John H. Bryan, West Virginia Car Accident Attorney.

With Winter Weather Comes Greater Responsibility For Drivers

From today’s Charleston Daily Mail:

Dozens of wrecks, including fatality, result from rush hour snow
by Kelly L. Holleran
Daily Mail staff
There were more than 40 vehicle accidents in the Charleston area in the span of about 90 minutes this morning, including one fatal wreck, said Dale Petry, Kanawha County emergency services director.

BREAKING NEWS: Dozens of wrecks result from rush hour snow

Officers investigate a fender bender on Court Street in Charleston this morning. Many accidents were reported during rush hour. ..
The accidents began about 7:30 a.m. after it began to snow, a Metro 911 dispatcher said.
In one of the accidents, one person died in Hernshaw this morning, Petry said.

The multiple-car pile-up happened between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. on state Route 94, Petry said.

The accident probably happened because the road was already cold when it started to mist, Petry said.

The mist on the road caused black ice to form, he said.

There were no other injuries in the accident, Petry said.

Officials are not releasing the identity of the person until family members are notified, he said.

The road will be shut down for an unspecified amount of time, he said.

In another accident, a bus transporting children sideswiped a guardrail. That happened about 8:34 a.m., the dispatcher said.

The accident happened at the intersection of South Park Road and Chesterfield Avenue, the dispatcher said.

There were no injuries, she said.

Less than one inch of rain fell in the Charleston area this morning, said Fred McMullen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Most of the precipitation in the valleys was rain, but some snow fell near Yeager Airport and the higher elevations, he said.

The rain is expected to taper off to drizzle this afternoon, he said.

Note: with the onset of winter and snowy and icy conditions, drivers have a greater responsibility for the safety of their passengers and other drivers. All-to-often, West Virginia drivers, especially tractor trailers, tend to speed up in icy conditions, as if they have a suicide wish. Well, who cares about them if they want to commit suicide; the problem is, that most other drivers on the road are completely innocent, and their lives can be taken away in an instant by some reckless and selfish jerk. The law requires that drivers adjust their driving according to the weather conditions. So, if the roads are icy and there is low visibility, the law may require you to drive far below the speed limit and maintain greater care in changing lanes. The measuring point is reasonableness. What would a “reasonable person” do in the exact same weather conditions…. – John H. Bryan, West Virginia car accident attorney.