Tuesday, September 18, 2012
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UPS driver charged in I-81 crash in Montgomery County; more wrecks snarl northbound traffic

A three-vehicle crash blocked both northbound lanes of I-81 near mile marker 191, near Lexington.

Robert Foresman | Rockbridge Co. Emergency Management Coordinator

A three-vehicle crash blocked both northbound lanes of I-81 near mile marker 191, near Lexington.

Virginia State Police responded to at least three tractor-trailer crashes along northbound Interstate 81 today, one of which blocked both lanes of traffic near Lexington.

>> One of the crashes, at I-81 mile marker 127.4 just north of Christiansburg, involved at least one UPS tractor-trailer truck, said Sgt. Rob Carpentieri, state police spokesman. According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, that wreck blocked the north right-hand lane.

The driver of the UPS tractor-trailer that overturned has been charged with defective equipment, according to state police.

Twichel Lamont Carpenter, 65, of Cowpens, Ga., was driving a 2012 Volvo tractor-trailer owned by UPS Ground Freight when he ran off the right side of the road at 7:14 a.m., striking a guard rail and overturning. The right northbound lane at mile marker 127 was closed for more than five hours for cleanup, according to a news release.

At 3:25 p.m., traffic backups were about 9 miles, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

State police spokesman Carpentieri said Carpenter was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and was not injured.



>> This afternoon, a tractor-trailer wreck closed the northbound right lane of I-81 at mile marker 168 just north of Buchanan in Botetourt County. At 1:17 p.m., traffic backups were about 2 miles, according to VDOT. By 4 p.m., VDOT cleared the wreck.



>> Further north, in Rockbridge County near Lexington, a three-vehicle crash blocked both northbound lanes of I-81 near mile marker 191 this morning. Authorities said at least one tractor-trailer truck was involved in that crash, which was near the intersection of I-81 and I-64. Traffic had been detoured off of exit 188 A  to U.S. 11, but VDOT cameras showed both northbound lanes had reopened by 11:30 a.m.

Latest updates: Find a live traffic map on VDOT's 511virginia.org

-Staff writer Melissa Powell contributed to this story.



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