Accident closed I-81 north and southbound lanes in Wythe County

WYTHE COUNTY, Va. - Update 9:45am:

The right lane of the northbound side of Interstate-81 in Wythe County, Va. is now open.

All other lanes remain closed due to three accidents early this morning.

Traffic is being rerouted around the scene.


Virginia State Police are investigating three separate crashes on Interstate 81 in Wythe County that have claimed two lives and seriously injured one other person. All southbound and northbound lanes of Interstate 81 are closed at this time and traffic is being detoured around the crashes. Route 90/Black Lick Road is also closed.

At 3:23 a.m., state police was called to the scene of the first crash in the southbound lanes of I-81 near the 60 mile marker. A tractor-trailer had overturned in the roadway. The driver was not injured and was able to escape the tractor-trailer before it was struck moments later by a southbound passenger vehicle. The driver of the passenger vehicle died while en-route to the hospital.

Moments later a second tractor-trailer traveling north on I-81 ran off the left side of the interstate. It then struck the bridge, ran off the Interstate and crashed below on Route 90. The tractor-trailer caught fire upon impact. Its driver is died at the scene. A passenger in the tractor-trailer was ejected from the sleeper cab and flown to a nearby hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

At this time, VSP is still working to confirm the identities of all involved and notify their next of kin.

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