MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Two people were killed and several others were injured Wednesday morning on Interstate 81 after a sudden snow squall resulted in traffic accidents involving nearly 50 vehicles, including more than a dozen tractor-trailers.
According to a press release issued from the West Virginia State Police, a trooper arrived on the scene of a reported multi-vehicle accident on I-81 northbound near the 22 mile marker at approximately 8:52 a.m. and found numerous vehicles scattered across all three lanes of the interstate. During the initial traffic crash investigation, the trooper determined 49 vehicles, including 13 tractor-trailers, were involved in the incident, police said.
“There were 15 to 20 vehicles seriously damaged in the crash with an additional 20 to 25 involved for a total of 35 to 45 vehicles in the accident north and south,” 1st Sgt. C.K. Zerkle told The Journal in a statement early Wednesday afternoon. “I believe they are all going to be considered one accident northbound and one accident southbound, because it was all a big chain reaction, I guess. There’s several big trucks involved, which makes trying to get wreckers in there and getting them out tough.”
The initial investigation revealed a sudden snow squall occurred in the area of I-81, resulting in near white-out conditions, which caused the multiple traffic collisions.
Two fatalities were confirmed at the scene by emergency medical staff…