Truck Crash Closes I-81 For Hours
Posted: December 4, 2012
An early Monday morning tractor-trailer crash left a portion of Interstate 81 southbound near Edinburg closed until the late afternoon.
The truck was the only vehicle involved in the wreck.
A detour rerouted motorists off I-81 and briefly onto U.S. 11 until around noon, when the left lane was opened. The right lane was not cleared until after 5 p.m.
The bridge near Exit 279 — less than a quarter of a mile of roadway — was the only portion of the interstate that was closed.
Around 5:40 a.m., a tractor-trailer operated by Rickie Allen Robinson, 47, of Gardners, Pa., was traveling south on I-81 when the vehicle ran off the road to the right and struck a guardrail, said Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. F.L. Tyler. It then veered back across the road, struck the side of the bridge and jackknifed, Tyler said.
The vehicle came to rest just past Exit 279.
One fuel tank was ruptured, causing a fire that was not extinguished until around 1:30 p.m., according to Lt. Wesley Dellinger with the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office.
Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue responded to the scene, as well as sheriff’s deputies and state police.
Several hours of cleanup were required to clear the debris from the scene. The truck was transporting compressed cardboard material.
Officials from the Virginia Department of Transportation were on the scene to examine the bridge, although Tyler said there was only minor damage.
Robinson was not injured. He was charged with reckless driving.
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