DOH traffic engineers reviewing I-77 for frequent accidents - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

DOH traffic engineers reviewing I-77 for frequent accidents

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Another day, another accident on Interstate 77.

This time, a semi-truck hauling 49,000 pounds of lumber lost control and ended up in a ditch.

The Division of Highways said its traffic engineers are actually reviewing I-77 in the Sissonville area due to the recent high volume of accidents.

Larry Ward said he was on his way to Ohio when he lost control of his truck.

"I was coming down the highway and the truck started turning. I tried to straighten out and I lost it. I couldn't control it anymore. It just went off into the ditch," he said.

Huge piles of lumber littered I-77 and the entrance ramp. Traffic was delayed for drivers in an area that sees its fair share of wrecks.

Ward said it all happened so fast he barely had time to react.

"I didn't see what the trailer was doing but I could feel it swerving behind me," he said.

He escaped with minor injuries.

It took crews hours to clean up the lumber and get both the interstate and entrance ramp back open.

The DOH said it is looking into this stretch of road to see what improvements, if any, the state can make.

However, the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department said this isn't the only accident prone area.  The department said there's a lot of traffic on the road which could explain more accidents.

"Interstate 77, first of all, is a very heavily traveled road, not only by just traveling motorists but particularly commerce and large trucks," said Captain Sean Crosier.

While this mess was a true accident, Crosier said his deputies see plenty of wrecks that are a direct result from distracted drivers.

"Don't be texting. Don't be talking on the phone. Try not to be distracted by someone else or something else in the vehicle," he said.

The DOH is considering a couple of things to improve on I-77, including concrete barriers and applying a high friction surface treatment to increase a vehicle's grip on the road.

The engineers said they are still 30-90 days out from submitting their recommendations to their superiors.

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