Steel piece to blame for accident on I-64 in Putnam Co, WV - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Piece of steel to blame for multi-car accident on I-64 in Putnam County, WV

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UPDATE: 

Both eastbound lanes of I-64 are open following a multi-vehicle accident this morning.

For hours, no cars moved through the eastbound lines of I-64 on the Nitro/Saint Albans Bridge.

A freak accident caused a major chain reaction just before 5 a.m.

Police believe one of the drivers hit part of the bridge and took a huge steel piece out into the middle of the road.

The steel blew out the tires of an SUV, along with the oil pan.

The oil spilled all over the slow lanes, which caused a car and truck to collide. A fourth vehicle also suffered damage due to the debris in the road, police said.

Nitro Police Lt. Richard Foster said drivers should not swerve if they see something in the middle of the road.

"You're usually better off trying not to swerve. Unfortunately, most people that swerve to avoid deer and other objects in the roadway, they end up in a worst predicament then they would have if they would just hit the object itself," he said.

Foster said accidents like this can go awry if you react too quickly.

"Most people who swerve, they lose control and run off the roadways, end up flipping and rolling over."

Foster said this bridge sees its fair share of accidents where speed is a factor.

The Division of Highways said the damage to the bridge is minor and there doesn't appear to be any structural issues.

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UPDATE:

The fast lane of I-64 eastbound on the Nitro/Saint Albans bridge has reopened following a multi-vehicle accident.

The accident happened just before 5 a.m.  Police said one of the drivers hit the bridge, which caused a big piece of steel to break away and land in the road.  This caused a chain reaction involving multiple vehicles.

One person was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Another driver was charged with drug possession after he grabbed a police officer on the scene.  Police said he was under the influence of some type of drug and acting erratic after the crash.  Police found a small amount of meth on him, they said.

The slow lane remains closed while the Division of Highways cleans up the oil and debris from the accident.  The DOH will also inspect the bridge to make sure it is structurally sound from the impact of the first vehicle.

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ORIGINAL:

Interstate 64 at the Nitro/St. Albans bridge is closed at this time, due to a multi-car accident.

The accident was reported by dispatchers around 5 a.m. Friday.

Officials at the scene say a large piece of metal on the roadway is to blame.

Crews are cleaning up the roadway of cars, debris and spilled oil.

Stay with 13 News and WOWKTV.com for the latest on this developing story.