CHARLESTON — During his Thursday press briefing, Gov. Jim Justice discussed a fatal accident last week that occurred in a work zone on I-81, just outside of Martinsburg.
According to a news release from the governor’s office, investigators say they believe speed was a contributing factor to the accident.
“This is just a terrible tragedy,” Gov. Justice said. “Berkeley County Sheriff Nathan Harmon said it was one of the worst accidents he has seen in his career. The cleanup and ensuing investigation resulted in the closure of two lanes of I-81 for seven hours.
“All of this is unacceptable,” Gov. Justice continued.
The Governor went on to announce that, after meeting with Senate President Craig Blair earlier in the week to discuss the incident, he has directed the West Virginia State Police to immediately begin additional enforcement of the 55 miles per hour speed limit in this work zone and all work zones across the state.
He added that he has also directed the West Virginia Department of Transportation to go above and beyond the national safety standards with signage and traffic controls in the area.
“I know we’re all in a hurry. But you’ve got to watch what you’re doing,” Gov. Justice said. “Let’s all slow down, just a little bit, all of us need to do that.
“We’re going to do better,” Gov. Justice continued. “We’re going to enforce like crazy and we are going to try in every way we possibly can to keep our people safe.”
Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.