VSP investigating tractor trailer crash on I-81 in Rockingham County

Virginia State Police are investigating a tractor trailer fire that shut down a part of Interstate 81 in Rockingham County.

VSP investigating tractor trailer crash on I-81 in Rockingham County
Emergency crews on the scene of a tractor trailer fire on Interstate 81 in Rockingham County (Photo courtesy VSP)

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, V.A. (WVIR) - Virginia State Police are investigating a tractor trailer fire that shut down a part of Interstate 81 in Rockingham County.

Investigators believe the north-bound tractor trailer ran off the left side of the roadway, hit a guard rail, over-turned, and caught fire. The crash happened near mile marker 258 around 12:20 a.m. Thursday, December 12.

Emergency crews on the scene of a tractor trailer fire on Interstate 81 in Rockingham County (Photo courtesy VSP)
Emergency crews on the scene of a tractor trailer fire on Interstate 81 in Rockingham County (Photo courtesy VSP) (Source: VSP)

The driver, 55-year-old Danny W. Pendergrass of Tennessee, was not injured and is charged with reckless driving.

The crash is under investigation.

12/12/2019 Release from Virginia State Police:

Virginia State Police Trooper H. Kelly is investigating a single-vehicle crash in Rockingham County. The crash occurred December 12, 2019 at 12:19 a.m. on Interstate 81 at the 258 mile-marker.

A 2015 Peterbuilt tractor trailer was traveling north on I-81, when it ran off of the left side of the roadway, collided with a guard rail, overturned on a jersey wall, and caught fire.

The driver of the tractor trailer, Danny W. Pendergrass, 55, of Blountville, Tn., was uninjured in the crash. Pendergrass was wearing a seat-belt.

The tractor trailer was hauling copper. The crash cleanup caused I-81 northbound to be closed for several hours.

Pendergrass was charged with reckless driving.

The crash remains under investigation.

Virginia State Police was assisted by VDOT and Rockingham County Fire and Rescue.

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