Advertisement

Miami man killed in I-81 tractor-trailer crash in Berkeley County

Nathan Tavarus Elps III was pronounced dead at the scene near mile-marker 23

June 11, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A 29-year-old Miami man died after crashing the tractor-trailer he was driving south on Interstate 81 early Tuesday, West Virginia State Police said.

Nathan Tavarus Elps III was pronounced dead at the scene near mile-marker 23, according to a news release from State Police Martinsburg Detachment Commander Sgt. J.D. Burkhart.

Cpl. D.S. See responded to investigate the crash near the Marlowe/Falling Waters, W.Va., exit at about 1:20 a.m., police said.

The white 2006 Volvo truck tractor that Elps was driving was pulling a box trailer when the vehicle overturned on its left side and came to rest at least partially on top of a temporary concrete median barrier, police said.

The barrier on the left edge of the road was placed for the construction zone for the I-81 widening project, according to police.

Advertisement

The southbound lanes of I-81 were closed for about eight hours so the vehicle could be removed and the damage to the concrete barrier could be repaired, police said.

Police determined the truck traveled on the right shoulder of the road for about 106 feet before re-entering the southbound lanes, and then traveled another 127 feet across both lanes before striking the concrete barrier, according to the news release.

The vehicle then traveled about 175 before overturning on the driver’s side, partially on top of the temporary concrete median barrier, police said.

Police said they do not know why Elps lost control of the vehicle.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash, police said.

The tractor trailer accident was the third traffic-stopping crash on Interstate 81 in Berkeley County in little more than 13 hours, police said.

About 10 p.m. Monday, a crash involving two tractor trailers also in the vicinity of Exit 23 resulted in the closure of southbound I-81 in the same area, police said.

Just before noon on Monday, the first of multiple vehicle collisions occurred in the vicinity of Exit 16 (W.Va. 9) in the southbound lanes of I-81, police said.

The highway was shut down for more than an hour due to the crashes, which Berkeley County Sheriff Kenneth Lemaster Jr. attributed to inclement weather conditions.

Lemaster said Tuesday that motorists simply need to slow down and take more precautions, especially in the construction zone of I-81.

At the Exit 16 crash scene, Lemaster said he was waving flares and trying to get motorists to slow down.

“They ignore us, even when we’re pulled over with a car,” Lemaster said.

The sheriff said his deputies “take their life in their hands” when they respond to investigate a crash on I-81.

“It’s scary,” Lemaster said.
 

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|