2 Killed In I-81 Pileup During Whiteout in W.Va.

Credit: Karine Rolfe
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FALLING WATERS, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia State Police say two multi-vehicle accidents on Interstate 81 during whiteout conditions have left two people dead and more than half a dozen others injured.

State police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous says the fatalities occurred in a seven-vehicle wreck in the northbound lanes around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday. Five to seven people were taken by helicopters to hospitals in the area.

Another accident involving 10 vehicles occurred in the southbound lanes in the same area. Numerous injuries were reported.

Baylous says both pileups occurred in whiteout conditions caused by heavy snow and wind.

The interstate is shut down while police investigate the accidents. Motorists are being detoured onto Route 11.

The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office is investigating the southbound crash.

The northbound lanes remain closed. The Department of Transportation says the southbound lanes have reopened.

An alternate route has been established along Route 11, which parallels I-81, however, travel is slow on the alternate route due to heavy traffic volume.

There are signs in place at this time indicating the alternate route.

Credit: Karine Rolfe