Westover Accident Update: Another tragic accident near Westover on I-79 happened Wednesday morning, November 19th, 2014, just before 10:00 a.m. when a head-on collision and fire shut down I-79 about a mile south of the Westover exit. Both northbound and southbound lanes were closed after the accident. Firefighters blocked interstate ramps, and emergency medical teams were on the scene.
Witnesses said a southbound vehicle crossed the median and struck a northbound SUV, causing both vehicles to burst into flame. Current information indicates there was one fatality and the driver who crossed center was taken to the hospital for injuries. Troopers said two other vehicles, a tractor-trailer and Chevy Malibu, were struck in the accident but their drivers were not injured. More information will become available as state police release the findings of their investigation. Every possibility for the loss of control will be investigated including medical conditions of the driver and mechanical failure of the vehicle.
Original story: A young woman was headed north on Monday, June 17, 2013, when her 1997 Ford Explorer suddenly crossed the median and crashed into a Jeep which was headed south on I-79 near Morgantown, WV. She was removed from her burning car by a passerby but was found dead at the scene. Mechanical failure and medical conditions are being investigated to determine a possible cause for the vehicle crossing the median.
Five others, including three children, were injured in the southbound vehicle, a 2006 Jeep, in the crash that occurred at about 12:45 p.m. in the southbound lanes of I-79 near the Westover, WV exit.
Four of the five injured in the Jeep were taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital by Mon EMS, and one child was flown by helicopter.
Eyewitnesses said the Ford Explorer burst into flames almost immediately, but State Police Sgt. J.P. Branham reported the driver of the Ford did not die from the fire. She was the only person in that vehicle. Several people stopped to help.
Traffic was backed up for miles while the southbound lane of I-79 was shut down for hours during the rescue, investigation, and cleanup efforts after this fiery, tragic crash. In addition to the vehicle debris, clothes from the Jeep were strewn all over the interstate.
The names and conditions of the Jeep’s passengers were not available Monday afternoon. At the scene, all of the people in the southbound Jeep were alive, though badly injured.
Ford Recalls 390,000 Vehicles for Gas Tank Fire Potential
Though the impact of the crash certainly led to this fire, it is interesting to note that as of June 3, 2013, Ford has recalled nearly 390,000 vehicles in the U.S. for a potential fuel tank leak that could result in a fire.
The automaker said the recall affects the Ford Explorer, Taurus, Flex, Fusion, Interceptor Utility, Interceptor Sedan, and Lincoln MKS, MKT, and MKZ. All of the vehicles are from the 2013 model year. The Explorer involved in this accident was a 1997 model, but if you have a 2013 Ford, you need to contact your dealership for possible recall on your vehicle.
At issue is a part within the gas tank that may fail and leak fuel onto the ground. If the spilled fuel catches a spark, a fire could occur. Ford said it is not aware of any fires, accidents, or injuries as a result of this defect. The automaker has received 600 complaints as of March 31, said Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker.
Robinette Legal Group, PLLC — Morgantown WV Injury Attorneys
If you or your loved one has been injured, it is important to act quickly to protect your claim in order to gain the compensation needed to help you move forward with your recovery and your life. Mr. Robinette has handled hundreds of cases involving serious injury and wrongful death and can provide the insight you need right now.
If you have questions, call Jeff Robinette today at 304-594-1800. You may also visit our website to find the answers you need today. You don’t have to handle this alone.
Snow and Sleet Buildup on I-79 Cause Car Accident in Westover — February 17, 2014.
Source: The Dominion Post, “Woman Dies on I-79” by Brandy Brubaker, 6/18/2013, www.dominionpost.com