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Crash stops traffic for nearly 12 hours

MORGANTOWN — The eastbound lane of Interstate 68 near the Cheat Lake Bridge was closed Sunday night because a tractor trailer overturned and spilled its contents.

Trooper C. Smith with the West Virginia State Police said the driver was taken to the hospital with a cut on his hand but was not seriously injured.

The eastbound lane was closed from the time of the accident, which was reported at 8:04 p.m. Sunday to about 7:30 a.m. Monday, Smith said. The westbound lane did not close.

The driver was hauling “Totino’s pizza rolls and assorted Totino’s products,” which spilled onto the road when the trailer ripped open in the crash, Smith said.

After those products were cleaned up, the trailer was lifted. Drivers going east were detoured off I-68 at Exit 7 and could return to the highway at Cheat Lake, Smith said. Those who were trapped in the immediate area of the crash were able to leave once a tow truck pushed the trailer out of the way just enough.

Cheat Lake Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jason Christopher said his department did normal crash duties such as traffic control and also helped form the “bucket brigade” to unload the truck.

Cheat Lake VFD helped with traffic control
Cheat Lake VFD helped with traffic control and then cleanup at the tractor-trailer accident Sunday. (Ron RIttenhouse/The Dominion Post)

Smith said the driver has not been cited, and the crash is still under investigation.

“I just wish people would be mindful of how slick it gets outside when the temperature drops, and it’s already wet outside,” Smith said. Everyone knows to be careful but thinks it won’t happen to them until it’s too late and the interstate is shut down, he said.

Smith said he hopes people keep it in mind this coming week.

AccuWeather calls for temperatures around 30 today with snow flurries and about 31 with partial sun Wednesday.

On Monday morning, a post on the Pantry Plus More Facebook page claimed the roughly 30,000 pounds of pizza and pizza rolls behind the Cheat Lake VFD were up for grabs.

Christopher said that was not true and the food wasn’t free for the taking.

Though it wasn’t permitted, social media posts indicate people did take the food. By 12:30 p.m. all the pizzas and other items were gone, according to a reply on the Pantry Plus More post.

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