Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fatal head-on collision closes I-81

Tractor-trailer crosses median and hits northbound van head-on

One northbound lane of I-81 has been reopened after last night's crash that had both lanes closed for hours. A southbound tractor-trailer crossed the median and collided head-on with a van heading north on the interstate.

The accident occurred near mile marker 245 in Harrisonburg. An eyewitness suggested the truck had been run off the road by another vehicle causing it to lose control.

One person is confirmed dead and three others have been airlifted to Charlottesville's UVA Hospital and Rockingham Memorial Hospital. WHSV TV-3 has more.

The eyewitness posted this on WHSV's website:
Posted by: Bill Location: Richmond on Feb 27, 2008 at 12:06 AM

I was behind this tractor trailer on 81 tonight and witnessed the entire accident. It was truly the most horrific thing I have ever seen. I feel for not only the families of the victims but also the truck driver. He was forced out of control by another driver and it is amazing that the truck driver was able to get the rig back on all wheels. When he swerved back to the left lane to avoid the other car he was fishtailing and tipped on only the wheels on his left side. He regained control but in doing so he oriented himself towards the median. For all of us in the car everything went into slow motion and we watched as the truck crossed the median. It seemed as though the van had no idea that the truck was coming towards made no apparent moves to swirve or avoid the truck. The impact was nausiating and the van appeared to disintegrate as the truck went right through it. The sound of the impact was horrible. I will never forget what I saw tonight.
No other details are available at this time.

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