Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
Weather, photography and the open roadClick for an important message

Thunderstorms plague mountain travelers: Accidents occur on rain-slickened roads across state: July 31, 2005

ABOVE: Lightning at the Pax interchange along the West Virginia Turnpike, near Beckley on Sunday.

EXPEDITION VIDEO: Tractor-trailer wreck caught on camera, RealVideo, 2.2MB, full-screen video (watch to the right of the light pole next to the green highway sign)

BECKLEY, WV - Thunderstorms developed on Sunday afternoon near Webster Springs and traveled southwest along the eastern mountains of West Virginia, producing hail, lightning and heavy rain which caused hazardous conditions on area roads. Locations affected included Summersville, Fayetteville, Oak Hill, Beckley and Bluefield. Route 19, the West Virginia Turnpike and Interstates 64 and 77 were major highways affected by Sunday's storms.

Accidents were commonplace through the evening. In Beckley, a tractor-trailer traveling southbound on the West Virginia Turnpike struck a Camaro and jackknifed, ending up sideways partially in the median near the Beckley travel plaza. At the time of the accident, one of our cameras was set up to capture lightning strikes nearby, and inadvertently caught the accident on tape in the distance.

The truck's fuel tank ruptured in the crash, requiring the highway to be shut down temporarily while hazardous materials crews worked to clean up the spill. Some fuel made it into nearby ditches. No one was hurt in the wreck.

BELOW: Aftermath of the tractor-trailer vs. car collision on the West Virginia Turnpike in Beckley. Fuel pours from the ruptured tank as crews work to clean up the spill. One of our cameras set up to capture lightning strikes inadvertently caught the accident on tape.

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