Downed power lines, photo courtesy of James in Harriston
Interstate 81 is back open Monday night after being closed for about six hours due to an accident near Harrisonburg.
We're told a tractor-trailer crash made a mess out of some power lines and backed up both north- and southbound lanes on I-81 at the Route 11 exit.
Backups ranged from three to eight miles throughout the night. All lanes were cleared and reopened by 7:30 p.m.
Virginia State Police Press Release
At 3:01 p.m. Monday (Nov. 4), 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.
The 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.
Cause of the crash remains under investigation.
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