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I-79 crash claims two lives, two more hospitalized

Two people died and two others were injured in an accident around 7:19 a.m. Wednesday near the 149-mile marker of Interstate 79 between Exit 152 – Westover and the Interstate 68 interchange. 

The Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) sent a press release confirming the two fatalities Wednesday afternoon, following an approximately five-hour shut down of both the northbound and southbound lanes of the highway.  

Two additional victims were transported by Mon EMS to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital for treatment, the extent of their injuries or current condition was unknown at the time of this report. 

Due to the proximity of the accident to the I-79/I-68 interchange, traffic was at a standstill on both sides, as well as the in westbound lane of I-68 where the highways meet. It is unclear if the vehicles involved in the collision were traveling north or south or both. MCSD would not confirm many details surrounding the accident, citing an ongoing investigation. 

MCSD officials told The Dominion Post Wednesday morning that a crash reconstructionist and a detective with the sheriff’s department were on scene following the accident to piece together what or who may have caused the accident, however none of that information is being released at this time. 

Initial reports from the Monongalia County 911 center stated there may have been three or four vehicles in the crash, but the total number of vehicles involved, or whether there were any additional victims, could not be confirmed by MCSD due to the ongoing investigation of the accident, officials said.

A single northbound lane of I-79 was reopened at about 12:05 p.m. followed by the rest of the highway at 12:19 p.m. according to MECCA. 

No other information regarding the fatal accident is being released by MCSD at this time, according to the release and statements made in response to questions from The Dominion Post.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office at 304-291-7260.