Accidents close slick I-77 bridge

WILLIAMSTOWN -Traffic was shutdown between Williamstown and Marietta Wednesday night following several accidents caused by slick conditions on the Interstate 77 bridge, officials said.

Both northbound and southbound lanes of the bridge were closed for about an hour and a half, officials said.

The southbound lanes of the interstate were treated by crews with the West Virginia Department of Highways around 9 p.m. and opened to traffic around 10 p.m., officials said.

Dispatchers with the Wood County 911 Center said the northbound passing lane of the bridge was opened around 10:50 p.m., but the driving lane remained closed, they said.

Deputies with Wood County Sheriff’s Office were called to the scene of a tractor-trailer accident without injury around 8:45 p.m. near the 183 milemarker of I-77. The sheriff deputies were the first to advise Wood County 911 dispatchers the bridge was becoming slick.

Chief Law Enforcement Deputy Shawn Graham said sheriff deputies were busy at the scene of the wrecks. He said he believed the first accident involved five vehicles, including two tractor-trailers. The second accident involved a tractor-trailer and car, while the third involved two vehicles.

Graham said ice was a factor in all three accidents but he had no further information on the details of the accidents Wednesday night.

At least one of the tractor-trailer accidents resulted in leaking fuel with crews from the Williamstown Volunteer Fire Department on scene for clean-up, dispatchers said.

The Wood County central communications office said injuries were not serious but St. Joseph Ambulance was on the scene of each accident.

DOH workers were called to the scene to salt the bridge and help control traffic. One department official said he had never seen a bridge so icy with the weather conditions. DOH workers began to salt the northbound lane around 10:10 p.m., just after treating the southbound lane, officials said.

Williamstown Police Department, Williamstown Volunteer Fire Department, ambulances, the West Virginia State Police and West Virginia Department of Highways responded, officials said.