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Wrecks close Interstate 81 for five hours

December 13, 2009

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Both lanes of Interstate 81 near the Spring Mills exit were closed for about five hours Sunday morning following pileups in both lanes of travel, according to West Virginia State Police.

Due to freezing rain and severe icy road conditions Sunday morning, state police responded to 19 accidents in Berkeley County, 11 of which occurred on I-81, according to a press release from 1st Sgt. Eric Burnett of the state police.

At the scene of the pileups near the Spring Mills exit, a male and female were transported to City Hospital in Martinsburg with nonlife-threatening injuries, Burnett said.

State police were notified of the pileups at 6:12 a.m., Burnett said.

A pickup truck pulling a camper lost control due to icy conditions, went off the west roadway edge and rolled over, police said.

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A tractor-trailer and two passenger vehicles traveling south observed the crash, Burnett said.

The two passenger vehicles began spinning out of control and the tractor-trailer collided with them, Burnett said. Another tractor-trailer was also struck in those collisions.

Three other passenger vehicles became involved in the southbound pileup, Burnett said.

The tractor-trailer crossed the median and went into the northbound lanes, resulting in collisions and a pileup with two other tractor-trailers, Burnett said.

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