Fatal accident on I-77 causes traffic to be routed through local area

A fatal crash occurred on I-77 north near mile marker 18 in the morning hours of Wednesday, Sept. 13, close to the Camp Creek exit. The accident involved a semi truck and two other vehicles.

Cody Kincaid, 27, of Beckley, was killed, and three others injured. The accident remains under investigation, but early reports suggest that Kincaid’s Jeep Wrangler crossed the median from the southbound into the northbound interstate lanes and collided with the tractor trailer head-on. Both northbound lanes of the interstate were closed due to the wreck, which then required a detour route be implemented for the traffic, detour Route “E.” The detour directed traffic through US-460 east to Rich Creek, VA, onto US-219 north, passing through Monroe County and then Greenbrier County before returning to I-77.

The West Virginia Parkways Authority describes detour Route “E” as follows: In the event of a road closure between exits 28 and 9, traffic will be detoured along I-64, US-219, and US-460 to bypass the closure. For a southbound closure, I-77 motorists will be directed to take Exit 40 which is the I-64 east bound exit. Drivers will proceed east on I-64 to exit 169 and then proceed south on US-219 approximately 46 miles to the intersection with US-460. Motorists will be directed west on US-460 and will continue on US-460 to the intersection with I-77. (If the incident is in the northbound lanes, drivers will follow the reverse of the route).

This means that a plethora of semi trucks and tractor trailers were passing through Ronceverte, Fairlea, and downtown Lewisburg throughout the work day on Wednesday, congesting traffic. Greenbrier County Sheriff Bruce Sloan said that the detour is implemented to prevent an excessive backup of vehicles on the interstate where the accident occurred.

“If the road is closed for an extended period of time, it just continued to back up into Virginia and into the tunnels. This way, even though the traffic is moving slowly, it continues to move,” said Sloan. By the end of the day, the interstate reopened and normal traffic patterns resumed.

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