Virginia State Police are investigating a fatal crash involving a tractor-trailer on Interstate 81 Tuesday morning.

Virginia State Police Trooper C. Peer is investigating the single-vehicle crash that occurred at 12:15 a.m. Tuesday on Interstate 81 at the 296.5-mile marker in Shenandoah County.

The driver of the tractor trailer, Chheanrem R. Chhean, 45, of Rosharan, Texas, died at the scene as a result of his injuries. State police said Chhean was wearing a seatbelt.

According to a news release, the 2020 Freightliner tractor-trailer Chhean was driving was traveling north on I-81 when he lost control, ran off the roadway left, struck a guardrail, ran up an embankment, and struck a bridge pillar.

Sgt. Brent Coffey, a state police public information officer, said the state police is still investigating how Chhean lost control of the vehicle.

The Virginia Department of Transportation noted in a news release that both northbound I-81 lanes were blocked until 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. Wreckers worked to remove the truck so inspectors could determine whether there was significant damage to the bridge.

VDOT said crews plan to return to the crash scene Tuesday night to remove a large amount of debris from the median. This operation is not expected to cause significant traffic delays.

Coffey said the crash remains under investigation.

(1) comment

Anna Thomson

Route 81 is a killing field. Our families are at risk. It is unacceptable that widening and/or a third lane hasn't begun yet. What will it take? PT

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