The cause of the crash isn't known, but a roadside assistance officer told a reporter at the scene that a vehicle was traveling west in the eastbound lanes.
Sigman expected the eastbound lanes to be closed until late Thursday. The westbound lanes were moving slowly by about 7:30 p.m.
Winfield High School had scheduled its graduation ceremony at the Charleston Municipal Auditorium Thursday evening.
Claire Shanholtzer, 17, was one of the 181 seniors to graduate Thursday night. She said they were lining up when they learned of the crash.
"We asked (Principal Bruce McGrew) to wait so that the others could partake in the ceremonies," said Shanholtzer, who will attend Wells College in New York in the fall on a swimming scholarship. "They sent a bus to get them so they could be here. I think that's pretty amazing."
McGrew said it was an easy decision to make but that his main concern was for the safety of the students and their families. He said 12 students were caught up in the crash and the traffic behind it.
The Kanawha County Ambulance Authority brought the 12 teens to the ceremony. McGrew said by the time they made the decision to delay the ceremony the students already were on their way.
"It was like clockwork," McGrew said. "Everything worked out perfectly."
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