There are few more grim scenarios on the interstates of Virginia and West Virginia than chain reaction crashes involving big rigs.
Sadly, this is exactly what occurred this week on the heavy truck route Interstate 81 in Berkeley County, West Virginia when a wreck involving as many as 50 vehicles left two people dead and almost a dozen injured.
Around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, a fast-moving snow squall entered the Spring Mills area of West Virginia, ABC news reported. It dumped thick-wet snow on roadways, and whipped-up winds, causing whiteout conditions. Drivers often fail to adjust to such conditions and this appeared to be the case on I-81 where a nightmare scenario unfolded.
“You couldn’t see nothing, nothing at all, just total blindness,” motorist Kenneth Besaw told the TV station. “All of a sudden, everybody started banging, crashing-up.”
Five medical helicopters transported the most critically injured patients to trauma centers in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., reported ABC. Ambulances took the less seriously injured to nearby Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg, WV.
Of the 49 vehicles involved, 13 were tractor trailers. Police said about 15-20 vehicles were totaled. A tanker flipped on its side, threatening a combustible fuel spill that could have made the situation even more grave.
Crews spent hours transferring the 1600 gallons of motor oil in the tanker onto another truck, before turning it upright.
“We have multiple vehicles that were completely totaled in the accident,” West Virginia State Police Trooper 1st Class Matthew Gillmore told ABC. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Those who were killed in the accident were from Maryland and Canada. My thoughts as West Virginia truck accident attorney are with the families of those who died in this crash and those who were injured.
In more than 24 years of working with those who are injured and the families of those who have been killed in accidents like this, I am familiar with the complexities of piecing together the evidence oh who was to blame for a chain reaction accident. Often families do not want to deal with the aftermath of such a terrible accident or think about the legal or financial ramifications. However, the said reality is a death or a serious injury can cause severe financial hardship. Often a truck driver or even a trucking company can be liable for injuries or deaths caused by a big rig in Virginia or West Virginia.
Our law firm recently secured a $5 million settlement for a woman who was badly injured by a truck in Gloucester County, VA and $3.5 million for the family of a man who was killed in a fiery truck wreck in Norfolk, VA. All cases are unique and different and we cannot guarantee the result of any case, although we will fight as hard as we can for your rights. Call our Virginia and West Virginia trucking accident lawyers at 757.455.0077