SUMMERS COUNTY, WV (WVNS)– Interstate 64 in Summers County was shut down twice within 24 hours because of fatal accidents. The accidents happened on Thursday, July 1, and Friday, July 2, 2021.

Although they were not related, investigators believe speed was a factor in both. Sheriff Justin Faris said when accidents like these occur, the interstate could be shut down for hours so crews can do a thorough investigation.

“Both of them were major accidents, so they are very time-consuming and that is why we had to have the interstate shut down for so long. Just due to the amount of time it takes to do an investigation like that,” Faris said.

Ever since Faris became the sheriff, his goal is to crack down on speeders. Starting next week, the Summers County Sheriff’s Department will participate in the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, where more deputies will be out on the interstate monitoring drivers’ speeds. Faris hopes this will stop people from going too fast through that stretch of I-64.

“It is just a dangerous stretch of highway it really is, there are two hills on both sides of the county coming down in the county you have sandstone mountain, and the other side coming out of Greenbrier county you have a major hill as you come down there. Both of which are very dangerous especially if it is wet,” Faris continued.

Joe Pack is the District Manager for the West Virginia Division of Highways District Ten Headquarters. He said it was just a coincidence these accidents occurred within two miles of each other.

“As always reduce your speed posted speed limits are there for a reason it is not simply there for law enforcement it is a recommended speed that we should all travel on that road due to the design of that road and other physical features,” Pack added.

Pack said DOH engineers will take a look at the police report of the two accidents and determine what needs to be done to make the highway safer.