First snow of the year brings accidents along I-64

Local News

CABELL COUNTY, W.Va., GREENUP COUNTY, Ky., and LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WOWK) — The first “big snow” of 2020 hit the Tri-State in the early hours of Friday, February 7, 2020. While most kids saw school closings, drivers dealt with traffic headaches and even some dangerous driving conditions.

The first snow of the year started with a tractor-trailer rollover on mile marker 8 of I-64. Dispatchers say it happened around 2:30 a.m. The accidents forced traffic to be diverted through Hal Greer Boulevard at exit 11.

Richard Koepke is a trucker from Sedalia, Missouri, and he has been at the West Virginia Welcome Center in Huntington since the evening of Thursday, February 6, 2020.

“Don’t do it, you’re a damn fool [if you do],” he said referring to people out driving in inclement weather. “I’ve seen too many wrecks and all this stuff, you know, way too many.”

Koepke says he plans to stay at the Welcome Center rest stop until road conditions improve.

“It was getting slick, I have a light load [on board], and I have to go 250 more miles,” Koepke said. “The wind’s going to be blowing at 50 miles an hour. I don’t want to get blown over, so I just stopped [driving].”

13 News Reporter Shannon Litton and 13 News Photojournalist Chris Holtzapfel experienced very slick conditions through Route 7 in Ohio, too. Motorists drove well under the posted speed limits. Not to mention, visibility was very limited and, at times, covered the shoulder lines, exits and speed limit signs.

Going back to I-64, the tractor trailer-roll over would be one of many accidents of the day. Milton police say a car drove off the road into a ditch a little after 6:30 am on Friday, February 7, 2020.

Police say nobody was seriously injured and they suspect speed was a factor. Milton Police want to remind people to move over when they see flashing lights on the highway, and to slow down in inclement weather.

By the time 7:30 a.m. rolled around, our crew ran into a 5 mile back up on their way back to Huntington. This happened as drivers were trying to get off the Hal Greer Boulevard exit on I-64 westbound as the road was still closed due to the tractor-trailer accident earlier that morning.

An hour later, the road would reopen to drivers.

Tom Weaver is also a truck driver. He started his day at 4 a.m. with his first stop being at 6 a.m. in Ashland, Kentucky. “US 23 was covered completely this morning,” he said. The South Shore resident was headed to his next stop, a store in Branchland, West Virginia, when he gave this advice for drivers. “Leave early, drive slow. Basically, that’s what it comes down to,” said Weaver. “Give yourself plenty of space.”

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