UPDATE: Fatal tractor trailer accident snarls I-68 traffic in Preston County


UPDATE(Monday, Aug. 10 11:00 a.m.)

KINGWOOD, W.Va. – A truck driver from New Jersey died Sunday after he lost control of his tractor trailer, which then flipped several times on Interstate 68 in Preston County.

The accident happened at 12:15 p.m. at milemarker 19, which is between the Coopers Rock and Bruceton Mills exits.

Kanhai John, 42 of Jersey City, NJ was driving a 2013 Freightliner Cascadia CA1, pulling a trailer full of hazardous chemicals on I-68 west, state police said.

When John, who was unfamiliar with the area, came to a right-hand downhill turn, he lost control and the truck flipped an unknown number of times, crossing the median and landing in the eastbound lanes, troopers said.

The trailer, which contained 80 barrels of Piperidine, described as a “highly corrosive, flammable and combustive chemical,” disconnected from the truck, broke into three pieces and also ended up in the eastbound lanes, according to a news release.

John was trapped in the truck’s cab and was pronounced dead on scene, state police said. John’s wife, Simone Charles, 40, was a passenger in the truck. She was able to climb out of the cab and was taken by ambulance to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, according to troopers. There is no word on the extent of her injuries.

Hazmat units were called to the scene to control a small leak from the chemicals. Miller Environmental was called to do the clean up.

The eastbound lanes of the interstate were closed for several hours and the westbound side was reduced to one lane.

The couple, who were originally from Brooklyn, NY, was headed from New Jersey to Cleveland, Oh., state police said.

ORIGINAL STORY(Sunday, Aug. 9 5:19 p.m.)

KINGWOOD, W.Va. – An accident on Interstate 68 in Preston County shut down traffic miles away from the scene Sunday afternoon.

The accident happened near mile marker 18, east of the Coopers Rock exit, and traffic was backed up at least that far and being diverted off that exit.

Follow 12 News for the latest information on the incident.

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