FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — A man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 days in jail in connection to an August 2022 West Virginia Turnpike crash that shut down the road for 19 hours and caused a chemical spill.
According to Fayette County Magistrate Court and the Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Dennis West, 55, of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to DUI charges on May 1. West was sentenced to 30 days in jail and must pay a $100 fine and $250 in court fees.
West is being held in the Southern Regional Jail without bond.
Authorities told 13 News in August that the crash happened between 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 24, and 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 25, over the Skitter Creek Bridge on I-77.
During the crash, the tractor-trailer flipped over the median barrier wall, blocking all northbound and southbound lanes, and causing damage to the median barrier. West was arrested on suspicion of DUI at the time of the crash.
According to Jeff Miller, executive director of the West Virginia Parkways Authority, the tractor-trailer also caught fire during the crash, and crews were able to extinguish the flames.
The crash shut down the West Virginia Turnpike for 19 hours and caused a chemical spill.
The crash has caused months of water testing due to the chemical spill in the Paint Creek area. The Kanawha County Commission has also filed a lawsuit against the trucking company West worked for, Gadsden, Gaillard and West, LLC.