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West Virginia Turnpike Reopened

West Virginia Turnpike
West Virginia Department of Transportation
All lanes of the West Virginia Turnpike are closed after a tractor-trailer carrying hazardous chemicals crashed just north of Pax.

Updated at 8:30 p.m.

All lanes of the West Virginia Turnpike are open following a hazardous chemical spill that shut down the highway near Pax in Fayette County.

The accident happened in the northbound lane on the Skitter Creek Bridge just after midnight Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022, when the driver lost control, jackknifed, and crossed the barrier wall. The crash blocked both northbound and southbound lanes.

The West Virginia DEP emergency response team, Pax Fire Department, West Virginia State Police, and West Virginia Parkways Authority crews contained the chemical spill early in the morning. Crews from industrial cleanup company Clean Harbors, from Nitro, arrived on site at about noon and began the chemical cleanup of the truck and roadway.

Cleanup crews were able to remove the trailer from the southbound lane and the tractor from the northbound lane and reopen the Turnpike on Thursday evening.

Updated at 12:43 p.m.

The West Virginia State Department of Transportation reports all lanes of the West Virginia Turnpike are closed Thursday morning after a tractor-trailer carrying the hazardous material, Alkyl Dimethylamine, crashed just north of Pax near mile marker 62.5.

The driver of the tractor trailer has been cited for driving under the influence (DUI).

According to officials a leak of the chemical the truck was carrying has resulted in a fish kill on Skitter Creek and further downstream on Paint Creek.

Executive Director of WV Parkways Authority Jeff Miller said the crash happened at approximately 12:30 a.m. in the northbound lane on the Skitter Creek Bridge. The driver lost control, jackknifed and crossed the barrier wall and the truck caught fire. The crash has blocked both northbound and southbound lanes.

Traffic heading north will follow Turnpike Detour A and detour at the North Beckley Exit 48 (US 19), proceed past Summersville to Interstate 79 Exit 57, then south to Charleston.

Southbound traffic will also follow Turnpike Detour A. From Charleston, traffic should follow Interstate 79 north from Charleston to Exit 57, then proceed south on US 19 to North Beckley, Exit 48.

View map of detour route.

All truck traffic should be mindful to avoid secondary roads.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's emergency response team, Pax Fire Department, West Virginia State Police, and West Virginia Parkways Authority crews are all on scene and have the spill contained. An environmental contractor is en route from Poca to begin the cleanup process.

Assistant News Director, cmacgregor@wvpublic.org

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