Driver injured after colliding with tractor trailer on I-81

By Katie Demeria and Joe Beck

Rescue workers freed two occupants of a car that collided with a semi-tractor trailer on Interstate 81 Thursday morning.

The driver of a Hyundai Genesis with Florida tags was traveling southbound and took exit 298 toward Strasburg, according to a witness who did not wish to be identified.

The car then drove off the ramp, crossed the median, and entered northbound traffic before hitting an oncoming tractor trailer.

Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Bill Streett said units were dispatched at 11:20 a.m., arriving on scene eight minutes later. The female driver was extricated from the vehicle within five minutes, and a male passenger was removed within 20 minutes, Streett said.

The driver’s injuries were life threatening, Streett added, so she was rushed by ground to Winchester Medical Center.

The identities of the occupants were unavailable as of 5 p.m. Thursday.

Rescue crews worked on the vehicle in the right shoulder of the northbound lanes, facing the opposite direction of oncoming traffic. The car’s front end was destroyed, and the passenger door was removed in order to free the individual inside.

One lane was left open while rescue workers cleared the scene. According to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Virginia 511 website, the crash caused a mile of delayed traffic traveling northbound, but the road was clear by 1 p.m.

Strasburg Fire Department, Strasburg Volunteer Rescue, Toms Brook Fire Department, along with Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue responded. Law enforcement on the scene included state police and Shenandoah County’s Sheriff’s Office.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or