UPDATE AUG. 17, 3 P.M.: As of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, the West Virginia Division of Highways had inspected the bridge for safety and both lanes of I-79 South have reopened.


WHITE HALL, W.Va. (WBOY) — When a large truck crashed and caught fire on I-79 Tuesday evening, it not only took the life of the President of Atha Trucking, it resulted in a massive cleanup, hours of backed-up traffic, and now, the Valley Volunteer Fire Department said diesel and oil spilled into the Tygart River.

In a Facebook post Wednesday, the fire department detailed the cleanup. The crash happened just after 4:20 p.m. An extensive cleanup was requested because diesel fuel and oil ended up on the road, and the fire department said its hazmat trailer responded and began hazmat containment on the Tygart River to collect fluids. EST Energy Transportation sent a crew to collect fluid, and the Department of Environmental Protection and Division of Highways emergency response team and crews were on the scene, according to Valley VFD. SWANK construction also used its heavy equipment to help clean up debris.

The response took Valley VFD crews about eight hours before they were placed back in service at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. More than 100 bags of total of oil dry, absorbent was used. Valley VFD said Hillbilly Towing recovered the truck from the highway.

The Bridgeport and Fairmont fire departments as well as the Boothsville and Winfield volunteer fire departments also responded. The Valley VFD said even the truckers who were behind the incident when it happened got out to help.

The Marion County Homeland Emergency Team, White Hall Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office and West Virginia State Police all responded.

The left lane of I-79 has reopened at the scene of the crash, but the right lane is still closed pending inspection due to extensive heat damage on the bridge, Valley VFD said.