Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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                   Saturday, March 8, 2008 - 11:53AM

Saturday, March 8 Charleston, WV icy crash/spinout video

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I-64's Fort Hill Bridge at Oakwood RoadARTICLE: Thanks to the Charleston Daily Mail for their article in today's paper!

PHOTO GALLERY: March 8 snowstorm chase log/photos

The toll at Oakwood/Fort Hill this morning was nine accidents/spinouts, eight of which are on camera. The culprit was a very slick coating of freezing rain and sleet that was present on the bridge only. I assembled this quick video clip (click to play). Watch the first car for the flash of lightning and low rumble of thunder as the accident happens:

Click to play video

Here is another clip of lightning during this episode of "thundersleet/thunder-freezing-rain" at a temp of 30°F:

Click to play video

As I finished shooting aftermath b-roll, the freezing rain quickly changed to snow (as you can see in the video). Already close to 3 inches outside now, and the roads are covered. However, after this morning's events I think I am calling it a day. I may venture out later to get some stills.

Quite impressive, but I need to say in Quebec,Canada it was a little bit more "desastrous". We received more than 15 inch with winds going to 50 miles per hours. There was about 10 highways where people left their cars and were saved by the police in snowmobile. Journalist speaks french, but you only need to see to understand ...
- Posted by Philipp from Montreal, Canada

Hey Dan, im a storm chaser in canada and i saw your video on the news...some of thoes crashes were crazy!
- Posted by Jayson from Oakville,Ontario,canada

I think the red car above is mine...we survived.
- Posted by Niki

WOW, Hey Dan, I hope no one was killed in the Oakwood Acc. based on your footage, It looked to me that car that hit the silver car had enough room on both sides to have tried to gone around. Congrats on great experienceage of this accident. Rocky
- Posted by Rocky Burrows from oakwood acc.

dan, awesome photography :)
- Posted by Stella from Canada

- Posted by BRAD from CHARLESTON WV

hey dan, just browsing through. i blame the state of wva for these terrible accidents. apparentley this happens at this site/location frequently. seems to me that they would moniter this area more closely and treat the roads at the first sight of temp going below freezing. i have traveled through wv several times and the roads are horrible (pot hole heaven)
- Posted by Teddy Davenport from Ohio

Teddy, You are so right. Not only this accident but most of them that happen in this location could be prevented. I spoke to a wrecker driver that told me when it freezes. they just sit in truck and wait for calls to go clean these crashed cars from the highway. He said its terrible but good business. WVA Highway Patrol should do a better job watching this area. I have tuned into to this web site for years reading and watching the accidents that have taken place in this exact location. some survive and some do not. But all of them go away with large bills to be paid for by them or their families. Come on WVA you can do better than this.....
- Posted by BILL Thaxton from Chas Wva

I think it is pretty bad that you profit from someone else's tragedies with out their permission.
- Posted by Kayla - concern citizen from Cross Lanes

Thanks for the comments everyone! Kayla, I'm sorry you feel that way. My job as a cameraman is to cover all types of severe weather, and this is just one of many different types of weather-related hazards I document. The weather does its thing whether I'm there filming or not. I do get paid for shooting weather video, but it's because it is hard work just like any other job. My hope is that this type of video will help prevent future accidents by reminding people to slow down at this spot. Most of the accidents here are very minor in nature and some don't even result in damage. I've tried to do my part to make this spot safer by contacting the governor, Senator Byrd, Congresswoman Capito, and the highway department to make them aware of it. But as long as this compelling subject is there, it is something that needs to be covered.
- Posted by Dan R. from Charleston, WV

Whoooa, I know that person that was driving the silver car, He is a nice young man. He attends the school where I teach. Bad things happen to good people.
- Posted by Sam I Am from Charleston, WV

Dan, great video. I was in Vegas and saw it on the news. Hopefully people will see it and drive more carefully. The video is lesson in the dangers of ice on roads. Thanks for sharing.
- Posted by Bill Hark

Very well spoken Dan !
- Posted by BILL Thaxton from Chas Wva

I agree w/Kayla, Shame on You ! These people need our prayers and should not be used for any one to make a profit. To profit from ones loss is gambling. Call it what you like its still just wrong.
- Posted by Cindy H. from Elkview, WV

The video should tell people they need to use caution anytime there is bad weather. I saw the footage on the Charlotte news Saturday night. I grew up in Cross Lanes and drove that bridge many times over the years in good and bad weather and it pays to slow down.
- Posted by Lee Ann from Tega Cay, SC

I totally disagree with Cindy and Kayla. As a freelance photographer it is your job to capture news. Motor vehicle accidents kill more people than anything else in this country and the video may help to see what needs to be done to cut down the number of accidents. Doctors profit from death, but that is what they do. Judges and lawyers profit from the crimes of others or we wouldn't even need them. I don't understand these women or their logic. Keep up the good work Dan. It is appreciated by most people, but you are always going to have a few in the crowd that just don't get it.
- Posted by Fred from Charleston

I thought I'd post these two letters I received last year from Senator Byrd (left) and WV Secretary of Transportation Paul Mattox (right) about the Fort Hill/Oakwood Bridge (click each letter to enlarge):

Letter from Senator Byrd <a href=Letter from Secretary Mattox</center>
<i>- Posted by <b>Dan R.</b></i> from <i>Charleston, WV</i></font></td></tr><tr><td height=1 background=

Ever thought of treating the bridges before they become a nightmare?
- Posted by BarbaraCarnes from Carver,Ma

the pics look scarey, i would love to watch the videos but im at school...yeah they dont allow that! but as far as i can see it looks pretty bad, most people say that we have bad weather because we upset god,now if that where true We'd be in Deep Water! u guys have a amazing site! Keep on doin wat ur doin, AND dont give up on GOD!
- Posted by Lacey from Lexington High School

maybe there wouldnt be so many wrecks if people would think to slow down when the roads are wet and temperatures are freezing, and i could almost guarantee that those cell phones had something to do with these.
- Posted by Dr. Acula

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