Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 16, 2014

Snowfall creates hazardous driving conditions

CAMP CREEK — Travel was treacherous on local roads on Saturday as a heavier-than-expected snowfall dropped an estimated four more inches of snow on the region, according to Tom Camden, manager of District 10, West Virginia Department of Highways.

“It’s starting to take a toll on our employees and our equipment,” Camden said. “We’ve been out working 24-7 since this snow event started. We were able to get most of our primary roads cleared on Friday, but we had to stop working on secondary roads today to get back to work on the main roads today.”

Camden said that Mercer County seemed to get more snow on Saturday than McDowell County, but added that crews worked hard throughout the district. “It’s a little more difficult to get parts on Saturday if something breaks, but we’re making it. I’m always amazes by how snow truck drivers can keep the roads open. Our roads are vital to our lives.”

The snow started out gradually, but by 10 a.m., the pace of the snowfall increased. At 11:15 a.m., Mercer County emergency dispatchers were alerted two three vehicles all stuck in a snow bank on Route 20 about a mile south of Athens. The vehicles were totally blocking the road until a snow plow driver and a wrecker could get to them.

At 12:07 p.m., Mercer County emergency dispatchers started receiving calls about a tractor-trailer flipped on the driver’s side in southbound I-77 near Exit 14.

When emergency responders reached the crash site, they were able to revise the site of the wreck to the 16.5 mile marker.

At 12:30 p.m., an emergency responder stated that the driver was out of the vehicle. A firefighter with the East River Volunteer Fire Department later confirmed that the driver did not appear to be seriously injured.

Sgt. M.K. Summers of the Turnpike Detachment, West Virginia State Police, said at the scene that weather conditions were a factor in the wreck, but could not be reached for additional comment later Saturday afternoon. In addition to the East River VFD and state police, the Princeton Rescue Squad also responded to the crash.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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