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Interstate 79 reopened after tractor-trailer crash

By Staff reports
Kenny Kemp
Logging trucks and emergency crews work to clean up logs that were scattered across Interstate 79 Wednesday morning near the Mink Shoals exit after a driver heading north lost control of his tractor-trailer just after 5 a.m., sending logs across both sides of the highway. The interstate was closed for about four hours.

MINK SHOALS, W.Va. -- All lanes of Interstate 79 in Kanawha County are back open after a tractor-trailer carrying logs crashed early Wednesday.

The tractor-trailer crashed in the northbound lanes in the Mink Shoals area of Kanawha County just after 5 a.m. after some of the logs in the truck bed shifted, according to Kanawha County Metro 911 dispatchers.

Some of the logs rolled over the concrete barrier and into the southbound lanes, shutting down the road in both directions, the dispatcher said.

Two vehicles driving southbound struck the logs and were damaged, according to the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department. One driver was taken to an area hospital after complaining of chest pains.

During the morning commute, traffic crawled to a virtual standstill as northbound traffic was diverted off the interstate at the 1-mile marker at the Mink Shoals exit and back on at the 5-mile marker at Big Chimney. Southbound, vehicles were getting off at Big Chimney and back on at Mink Shoals.

Traffic backed up for miles in the area and motorists were asked to use caution and drive slowly, the dispatcher said. 

The interstate reopened about 9 a.m., a dispatcher said.


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