A truck driver from Georgia is charged with reckless driving after a crash on Interstate 81 in Harrisonburg on Friday. Virginia State Police said Stephen Dunn, 46, was driving southbound when he crashed into a bridge over railroad trucks and his truck went off into the median. Dunn was not injured, according to investigators. The crash closed portions of Interstate 81 in the Friendly City for several hours creating traffic headaches for some on busy Valley roads. Virginia State Police investigated with the assistance of Harrisonburg Police Department, Harrisonburg Fire Department, Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office and the Rockingham County Fire Services.
UPDATE (8:40 p.m.):
All lanes have re-opened after the crash earlier today, according to the Harrisonburg Rockingham Emergency Communications Center. However, drivers can expect delays and congestion for some time.
UPDATE (7:10 p.m.):
The left northbound lane of Interstate 81 is open again, but all southbound lanes remain closed. Crews continue to work to remove a tractor trailer that came to rest across two bridge spans. All lanes of Country Club Road are also closed in front of American National University.
UPDATE (7:05 p.m.):
All lanes of Interstate 81, southbound and northbound, are now closed in Harrisonburg at mile marker 243. A tractor trailer jack-knifed, coming to rest across two bridge spans around 5 p.m. According to the Harrisonburg Fire Department, the driver was miraculously not injured. Since the, crews have been preparing and working to clear the vehicle from the scene. Traffic is being detoured around the scene on Route 11, and drivers cannot enter the interstate at most entrance ramps in Harrisonburg. Delays stretch at least five miles on the interstate and Route 11 faces extreme congestion from the detouring drivers. VDOT still has no exact estimate on when the scene will be clear.
Drivers headed through Harrisonburg on Interstate 81 should be prepared for major delays on Friday evening. Due to a crash in which a tractor trailer overturned, coming to rest across two bridge spans, all southbound lanes and the left northbound lane are closed at mile marker 243. VDOT says there is no estimated time for removing the tractor trailer from the scene, but southbound traffic is being detoured off the interstate to Route 11. That detour route is leading to major congestion on Route 11 in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, as well as the backups on I-81. VDOT estimated delays at five miles, as of 6:35 p.m. Those headed north can exit at mile marker 240 in Bridgewater, while those headed south can potentially exit at exits 245 or 247, where traffic will continue building on Route 11. You can find up-to-date travel times and maps for I-81. This is a developing story. WHSV has a reporter on the way to the scene and will update this story with more details as they come in.