Multi-car Accidents on I-68
When the days are short and the temperature drops below freezing, driving hazards are increased exponentially. Snow, ice, and foggy conditions make driving treacherous, often causing vehicle wrecks and injuries. When winter driving is made even more dangerous by debris on the road, the results can be fatal.
In December, a young New Jersey man was killed and several others injured in a chain-reaction accident on Friday, December 19, 2014 on interstate 68 in Preston County near the Monongalia County line close to the Coopers Rock exit. While it was originally reported that six other vehicles were involved, later reports indicated that seven vehicles were involved in the collisions. The crash occurred around 9:30 p.m. and closed both east and westbound lanes of the interstate for several hours, creating a several mile-long traffic backup.
The next day, on Saturday December 20th at about 6:30 p.m., a series of tragic collisions shut down I-68 again at mile marker 29. On I-68 Eastbound, both lanes were closed from Hazelton Exit to Friendsville Exit in Garrett County, MD, and the closure was expected to last for 3-4 hours. Two people died, one a Morgantown man, following the chain of wrecks on Interstate 68 in Garrett County near the West Virginia state line. The initial wreck was the cause of the death of the first accident victim, and the police reported that while traffic was stopped in the eastbound lanes to allow a helicopter to land at the scene, there was a chain reaction accident that claimed another life.
Our hearts and prayers go out for the crash victims, families, and friends who have been directly affected by these tragic accidents. Grief and recovery were not in their plans; the holiday season will never be the same for these families.
Drivers need to take into account that a different weather exists up on those elevated mountain passes and take precautions accordingly. The unexpected is more likely to occur, so heightened vigilance and attention to the road is required during these winter months.
WVMetronews, “Chain-reaction crash on I-68 claims one life” by Jeff Jenkins, December 20, 2014.
Topix, “Chain Reaction on I-68 claims one life, backs up traffic,” December 20, 2014.