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Posted July 24, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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State police release details of four wrecks on 15-mile stretch of I-81
The following press release was issued by the Virginia State Police today:
CULPEPER - Since Thursday evening (July 23, 2009), Virginia State Police have responded to four separate crashes within a 15-mile stretch of Interstate 81. Three of the crashes involved minor injuries. A fourth crash claimed the lives of two individuals.
The northbound lanes of I-81 were re-opened as of 10:48 a.m. Friday (July 24). From the initial crash Thursday evening near the I-81 and I-66 interchange, overhead electronic messaging was utilized along I-81 to caution motorists of impending detours and slowed traffic.
Crash #1 - 302 mile marker on I-81 North:
Crash #2 (Fatal) - 296 mile marker on I-81 North:
The initial crash of the first two tractor-trailers and the passenger vehicle also caused one of the tractor-trailer's side fuel tanks to immediately rupture. A fire spread rapidly through the vehicles burning the passenger vehicle beyond recognition.
The two individuals in the passenger vehicle died at the scene. State police are waiting for confirmation from the Medical Examiner's Office on the identity of the two deceased.
The drivers of the four tractor-trailers involved escaped the fiery crash with non-life threatening injuries.
A Virginia State Police Accident Reconstruction Team, Motor Carrier Safety Team and investigators with the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Culpeper Field Office were on scene assisting the primary investigating trooper, Trooper J.R. Pine. Charges are pending at this time.
Northbound I-81 traffic was being detoured at Exit 291 for Toms Creek over to U.S. Highway 11, as a result of this fatal crash.
Crash #3 - 287 mile marker on I-81 North:
The first tractor-trailer then jackknifed, overturned and spilled its load across the northbound lanes of I-81.
None of the drivers involved in this third crash was seriously injured. Another detour was set up to divert traffic while the overturned tractor-trailer and its load were cleared from the roadway. Northbound I-81 traffic was detoured to U.S. Highway 11 at Exit 283 for Woodstock.
Crash #4 - 296 mile marker on I-81 North:
Because the tractor-trailer is far enough off the interstate and so as to not restrict northbound I-81 traffic, crews will return in the predawn hours on Sunday (July 26) to upright and remove the tractor-trailer.
The driver suffered minor injures. Charges are pending.
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