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Tractor-trailer wreck clogs U.S. 340 traffic

June 23, 2009

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- A tractor-trailer wreck Tuesday clogged the southbound lanes of U.S. 340 near Charles Town for more than four hours, according to emergency and fire officials.

The truck driver, Clifford Walker, 45, of Jackson, Miss., was cited for driving with a suspended license and failure to maintain control, according to Jefferson County Sheriff's Department Deputy Cpl. D.C. Tabler.

No one was injured in the accident that was reported at 5:34 p.m., police said.

Tabler said speed appeared to be the cause of the accident, which occurred at U.S. 340's northern junction with W.Va. 9 on a section of highway known as the Charles Town Bypass.

Independent Fire Co. chief Ed Smith said he believed the load in the trailer shifted as it traveled down the ramp that connects U.S. 340 to the Bypass, causing the vehicle to overturn at the bottom.

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Firefighters "dammed up" about 50 gallons of diesel fuel, which leaked from the driver's side fuel tank, and state Division of Highways road maintenance personnel spread sand on the spill area to soak it up, Tabler and Smith said.

Walker was hauling 4,000-pound bags of sand used in sandblasting from Wilmington, Del., to Mississippi, Tabler said.

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