Recent accidents heighten rollover concerns at interchange

By Matt Butner - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT)- Two rollover accidents in four days have drawn attention to a Chesterfield interchange. Both accidents involved tractor trailers, and both occurred on the ramp from I-95 north to route 288. VDOT and state police say the ramp should be safe.

On Friday, it was a watermelon truck. On Monday, a tractor-trailer packed with pigs. The same ramp, the same result: a rollover accident. VDOT says the ramp's design is not at fault, and that there is plenty of signage indicating the maximum safe speed of 35 mph.

Those yellow speed signs are more than suggestions- they can be enforced if an accident occurs.

"Speed has been determined to be a factor in both of these crashes, and based on the investigations, the troopers charged both these tractor-trailer drivers with reckless driving," said State Police Sgt. Thomas Molnar.

According to VDOT, there were 3 tractor-trailer rollovers on the ramp from February 2006 to February 2009, when VDOT stopped keeping track. Add the two most recent crashes, and that makes at least 5 in just over 4 years.

State police say speed is most often to blame for a rollover accident on any ramp-- hence the need for those yellow signs.

"Drivers need to be aware that's the maximum safe speed during the prime road conditions of the roadway," Molnar said.

The most recent wreck claimed no human lives-- but 46 of the 80 pigs on the truck died as a result of the crash.

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