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WV DOT impounds semi involved in 20-car pileup

WHEELING, W.Va. — The California truck driver involved in the 20-car pile-up on Interstate 70 near The Highlands Sunday may be facing charges after the truck he was driving failed several safety checks, according to Ohio County Sheriff Pat Butler.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation impounded the truck this week and is conducting a thorough inspection of the vehicle. An inspection is standard procedure when a tractor trailer is involved in accident on state highways, Butler said.

The truck, one of the 21 vehicles involved in the Sunday afternoon crash in the westbound lanes of I-70 on Two-Mile Hill, was driven by Sandep Bandwalsing, 26, of Elk Grove, Calif. He was not injured in the accident.

Butler said Wednesday preliminary inspections indicated three brakes on the truck were not in proper working order and two tires were in bad shape. Other minor violations may involve reflectors on the truck and other issues.

“The two front brakes were badly damaged,” Butler said.

A final report about the accident is still in the works by the sheriff’s department, the lead agency in the crash investigation.

It appears the truck was unable to stop for vehicles that had slowed down as the interstate narrowed to a single lane for road work.

State, city and several nearby community police officers assisted at the scene. Ambulances from city and county fire departments responded to the crash and transported an unknown number of patients to Wheeling Hospital and Ohio Valley Medical Center.

A dog was the only fatality in the crash.

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