WV State Police Confirm Two Dead in I-81 Accident

BERKELEY COUNTY, W.Va - West Virginia State Police have confirmed to WHAG News that two people are dead following two serious accidents Wednesday morning on Interstate-81. 

Police say 14 people were taken to area hospitals after two accidents on Interstate-81 at mm 21, between Spring Mills and Falling Waters. Five choppers were dispatched to the scene. State police have confirmed 49 vehicles were affected in the crash, including 13 tractor trailers. 

Officials say a fast-moving snow squall was responsible for the accident, creating whiteout conditions due to heavy snow and wind. 

State police say seven cars were involved in one accident on I-81 northbound, and 10 were involved in a second accident in southbound lanes. Both crashes happened around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday morning. 

Four medical evacuation helicopters were called to the scene resulting in the transportation of three victims. Two were flown to Fairfax INOVA Medical Center, and one was flown to Baltimore Shock Trauma Hospital

Additional victims were taken by local EMS to Berkeley Medical Center for treatment. According to a spokesperson for Meritus Medical Center, three people involved in the accident were transported to their hospital, and have since been treated and released. 

Interstate-81 southbound reopened around 3 p.m. Wednesday, while I-81 northbound was reopened hours later just before 5 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. Traffic along I-81 northbound was detoured near mm 20. An alternate route was established along Route 11, which parallels I-81, during that time. 

Viewers have reached out to WHAG, stating they were stuck in traffic along I-81 northbound for over five hours without food, water or bathrooms. 

It has been confirmed Mitchell Duana Dobbins, 65, of Hagerstown, Md., was pronounced dead on the scene. Officials tell WHAG Dobbins was the President of Western Enterprise Fire Company, Engine 4 in Hagerstown. The release of the second victim’s name is pending notification of their next of kin.