The West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) is asking drivers to seek alternate routes after an early morning crash involving a truck carrying hazardous chemicals.

The crash occurred just after midnight on Thursday, August 25, in the northbound lane of the West Virginia Turnpike on the Skitter Creek Bridge, north of Pax.

WVDOT says that a truck driving hauling hazmat lost control, jackknifed, and crashed across the barrier wall.

The truck came to a stop blocking the northbound and southbound lanes of the Turnpike.

The chemical the truck was hauling has been identified as an amines solution, which has reportedly spilled into the nearby Paint Creek.

WVDOT offered the following detour information:

  • Traffic heading north will follow Turnpike Detour A and detour at the North Beckley Exit 48 (US 19), proceed past Summersville to Interstate 79 Exit 57, then south to Charleston.
  • Southbound traffic will also follow Turnpike Detour A. From Charleston, traffic should follow Interstate 79 north from Charleston to Exit 57, then proceed south on US 19 to North Beckley, Exit 48.

“All truck traffic should be mindful to avoid secondary roads,” WVDOT said.

Officials say that the chemical spill has been contained and that an environmental contractor is en route to begin the cleanup process.

There is currently no estimated time for the Turnpike to reopen.

Local outlet WCHSTV reports that the truck driver, South Carolina resident Dennis Eugene West, 54, was arrested and charged with DUI.

Follow WVDOT on Twitter for updates throughout the day on the Turnpike closure.

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