UPDATE: Accident closed Route 288 southbound this morning

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Crews were left cleaning up the mess left after a truck collides with a Pontiac this morning at 8:15 on Route 288 southbound just past Woolridge Road.

As of 3 p.m., all lanes had reopened and the scene was cleared.

Virginia State Police say, 23-year-old Kelvin Pittrell, from Danville, was traveling northbound on 288 missed the exit and made an illegal U-turn in the median to travel southbound on Route 288.  He was driving a red Pontiac, and police says he did not stop for oncoming traffic and was hit by a tractor trailer traveling southbound.

Pittrell had a passenger in the car with him. Both suffered minor injuries. The driver of the tractor trailer, 37-year-old John Harris, only suffered minor injuries as well.

Police say Pittrell is charged with reckless driving.

The truck driver was coming from Buckingham County and was en route to West Point Paper Mill.

We are told there was 25 tons of wood chips that were scattered on the roadway when the truck flipped. Also, the truck had just refueled. There was 100 gallons of fuel on the truck and about 30 gallons of it came spilling out after the accident.

That spill has been contained. Crews used the wood chips, a dry mix and kiddie pools to collect the leaking fuel.

"The wood chips are actually helping to contain the diesel fuel that spilled out," says Sgt. Thomas Molnar with the Virginia State Police.

He adds, "anytime you need to turn around, use the next exit not the median because you create a hazard for yourself and for the other motorists out here."

Also, using the medians for turns like the one police say Pittrell used, is illegal.

The roadway should be opened back up to at least one lane, starting around 12:30 Friday afternoon.

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