Interstate 81 accident leaves live wires in road, hours of backups

At 3:01 p.m. Monday, Virginia State Police Trooper A.J. Wouters was called to the southbound lanes of Interstate 81 at the 243 mile marker for a tractor-trailer crash. A southbound tractor-trailer ran off the right side of the road, struck the guardrail, continued up an embankment, struck a utility pole, and then struck a restaurant sign before finally coming to rest.

i81-headerThe impact with the utility pole left several power lines lying across all lanes of Interstate 81. The lines were “live” and sparked a fire in the median of I-81. Crews could not begin removing the lines until they were rendered safe.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Hassan A. Taher, 53, of Union, Ky., was transported to rockingham memorial hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Taher was charged with reckless driving.

All lanes of I-81 were cleared and re-opened by 7:28 p.m.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.


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