Eastbound lanes of I-64 reopen following semi crash in Putnam Co - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Eastbound lanes of I-64 reopen following semi crash in Putnam County, WV

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UPDATE:

Both eastbound lanes of I-64 in Putnam County, WV have reopened following a tractor trailer accident early Monday morning.

Thousands of drivers were caught in the mess and tried to make the best out of an annoying situation.

James Froehlich was on his way to Virginia just before the crash happened. He spent more than five hours waiting for the lanes to reopen. He passed the time by listening to the radio.

He said he saw a lot of deer on his drive through town.

"I've seen tons of deer on this road. Every mile there's deer," he said.

The driver of the truck said he tried to avoid hitting a deer and hit the guardrail instead.  The guardrail punctured the fuel tank and spilled 200 gallons of diesel fuel all over both lanes.

Phillip Sullivan waited almost two hours in traffic before he decided to walk to work. He's an EMT and needed to get to the Saint Albans exit. He ended up walking more than five miles.

"It's hectic. People just need to pay attention and watch what they're doing," he said.

Shane Hudnall is an Occupational Safety Officer with the DOH. He said it was the trucking company's responsibility to call someone to clean the diesel fuel up. Hudnall said there was miscommunication on the company's end, and this delayed the process. This is a reoccurring issue, he said.

"Highways can handle something if it's a small spill, anything 50 gallons or less, we can get some absorbents on it and get it cleaned up. But, this was a little excessive. 200 gallons is a little more than what we can handle and what we are equipped to do," Hudnall said.

The driver of the truck was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and released.

The DOH will repair the guardrail within the next few days.

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8:05 A.M. UPDATE

One lane of Interstate 64 has now reopened. The fast lane is back open to traffic after being closed more than six hours following the accident.

The slow lane remains closed at this time.

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UPDATE:

It could be several more hours until the eastbound lanes of I-64 in Putnam County are reopened, following a tractor-trailer accident Monday morning.

It happened just before the Saint Albans exit.

Crews are trying to clean up more than 175 gallons of diesel fuel, which spilled all over the road.  The lanes will have to be decontaminated after the fuel is removed.

Dispatchers said drivers can take the Scott Depot exit as an alternate route.  Traffic is expected to be rough in the area over the next few hours.

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A tractor-trailer accident has caused all eastbound lanes of Interstate 64 to be shut down at this time, according to Putnam County 911 dispatchers.

The initial call came in around 1:30 a.m. Monday.

Dispatchers tell 13 News a semi hauling produce struck a guardrail and "lightly hit" the Bills Creek Road overpass near the St. Albans exit.

The accident caused the truck's fuel tank to rupture, spilling approximately 175 gallons of fuel to spill onto the roadway.

As a result, officials have closed Interstate 64 eastbound until the spill can be cleaned up.

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