A Dollar General tractor trailer jackknifed in front of the Dollar General Store in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.
According to a store employee, the Dollar General truck pulled up the hill into the Dollar General parking lot and the driver got out to see if he could get a customer to move a car so the truck could be backed up into the loading area.
While the truck driver was out of the truck, the truck began to roll down the hill backwards and onto US 522.
Going down the hill, the truck sideswiped a pickup truck trying to get up the hill and into the parking lot. The occupants of the pickup included an infant. The pickup had its driver’s door banged up.
The Dollar General tractor trailer truck proceeded down the hill, onto US 522 and ended up facing northbound, with the tractor jackknifed into the ditch.
Miraculously, no one was hurt.
Traffic was backed up through town until the truck was cleared.
The accident comes just six days before the Morgan County Planning Commission will hear a proposal from Dollar General to put another store in a rural residential area of southern Morgan County on the corner of US 522 and Oakland Road — with the entrance on Oakland Road.
Dollar General is seeking six waivers from local and state regulations — including a waiver from a Department of Highways entrance permit.
At the Planning Commission meeting on January 27, many residents raised concerns about dangers posed by the increased traffic that the Dollar General will bring to the area.
Residents opposed to the Dollar General at Oakland Road are seeking a meeting with J. Lee Thorne, the District Five engineer for the West Virginia Department of Transportation.
Dollar General representative Josh Allen told the Planning Commission that Dollar General has already met with the West Virginia Department of Transportation.
“We sat down across the table and set a plan out and talked through with them what our options would be,” Allen said. “They suggested and we have agreed to put in a left hand turn lane from 522 (southbound) onto Oakland Road.”
Residents of southern Morgan County say that one turn lane on 522 won’t be enough to ensure the safety of local residents.
“In Berkeley Springs, the speed limit is 35 mph,” said Angela Petry, who witnessed the aftermath of the truck accident. “In the southern part of the county, the speed limit is 55 mph, with trucks coming down the hill before Cacapon State Park at higher speeds. Putting a Dollar General at Oakland Road is a recipe for a disaster.”