Twenty-two people suffered some level of personal injuries in a 38-car pile-up Thursday afternoon on the St. Albans-Nitro bridge. Authorities say that rainfall had left standing water on the Interstate-64 bridge and law enforcement believes that not enough of the drivers slowed down properly for the weather conditions.
A majority of the injuries from the massive interstate accident turned out to be relatively minor. However, West Virginia officials say that nine people required hospitalization. A mother and her child suffered serious injuries in the afternoon pile up. Many of the accident victims were released from the hospital by Friday--however, transportation officials say that at least two victims remained hospitalized with critical injuries.
Generally, drivers have a duty to use reasonable care under the circumstances when traveling any the road. Weather conditions can change during any season in West Virginia and a driver who does not properly adjust to changing conditions may be held liable in civil court for failing to use proper care. However, the standard is one of reasonableness under the circumstances. A Charleston personal injury lawyer can help accident victims in understanding the standards used in court.
Authorities say that a pocket of undamaged cars were stranded on the bridge between sets of crumpled cars and trucks that had crashed. The occupants of those vehicles waited until emergency responders dealt with the accident victims and the wreckage along the interstate. One state highway official told the Charleston Gazette that the massive pile up was the worst he had seen in over 40 years on the job.
The accident occurred during the rush hour, but many of the people on the interstate were en route to the Charleston Municipal Auditorium for a high school graduation ceremony. Kanawha County officials brought in buses to transport uninjured people to Charleston who may have been planning to attend the Winfield High School event at the auditorium.
Source: Charleston Gazette, “38-vehicle wreck sends nine to hospital," Lori Kersey, June 6, 2013