EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSI-79 Back Open Following Rock Slide That Damaged Seven Cars
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Katelyn Sykes
Web Producer: Katelyn Sykes
Reported: Oct. 14, 2013 8:13 AM EDT
Updated: Oct. 14, 2013 12:34 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
All lanes of Interstate 79 are back open after a rock slide Monday morning.
The slow lane of southbound I-79 near the I-77 split was closed for about an hour after debris fell onto the roadway following a slide.
A rock slide on Interstate 79 damaged multiple cars Monday morning.
It happened about 6:15 a.m. in the southbound lanes of I-79 about a mile past the Mink Shoals exit, near the Interstate 77 split.
Emergency officials said part of the hillside gave way, causing a massive boulder to fall. Pieces of the boulder fell onto the interstate.
"When we first got on scene back by the boulder we realized it was a pretty significant incident," said Patrick Clark, Pinch Volunteer Fire Department.
Seven cars were damaged by the debris after driving through it.
"I either had a choice: hit that rock or hit the guy beside me and I just decided to take the rock," said Susan Caldwell, who's car was damaged by the debris. "I didn't want to hurt anybody, I didn't want to hurt myself. So I took the least of both damages."
The debris tore apart her transmission causing fluid to leak all over the interstate. Several other cars had tire and wheel damage.
"I got a flat tire and busted oil pan," said driver Nick Welch.
Emergency officials said luckily no one was injured.
"Physically I'm fine but I'm trying to calm myself down because this is not how I wanted to start my Monday morning," Caldwell said.
Crews estimate the boulder to weigh several tons and aren't sure what caused the hillside to give way. Emergency officials said the DOH will have a team out to inspect the hillside.
One southbound lane was closed while crews removed the debris.
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