UPDATED: Interstate 81 re-opens after fatal accident near Salem

State Police have named some of the drivers involved in Monday night's crash

January 17, 2011|News 7 Web Staff
  • A tractor trailer wreck caused major back-ups on Interstate 81 Monday night.
Courtesy: Steve Larsen

SALEM, Va UPDATED: Tuesday 12:00 p.m. — updated:

The driver of the car has been identified as 28-year-old Claudia Patricia Cervantes.  Cervantes was from Radford.


State Police have released the names of some of the drivers involved in Monday night's crash on Interstate 81.  Troopers say the driver who caused the crash is Danny Lee Heath.  Heath is from Atkins, Virginia and was taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.  He has since been released.

The truck driver who was killed has been identified as John Henry Murphy.  Murphy was 64 years old and from Columbus, Georgia.

Police are still working to notify the family of the other driver who was killed.  Troopers have not released the names of the other people injured in the crash.


UPDATED: 6:15 a.m.

Traffic is moving again on Interstate 81. The wreck has been cleared and all lanes are now open.


UPDATED: 5:30 a.m.


Two people are dead following an accident on Interstate 81 on Monday night.

State Police say a tractor trailer was traveling north near exit 137 in Salem when it crashed through the guardrail and went into the southbound lanes, crashing another tractor trailer and a car.

The driver of the semi that was hit as well as the driver of the car were killed at the scene.

A child and an adult in the car were taken to the hospital as well as a passenger in the tractor trailer that was hit.

The driver of the tractor trailer that jumped the median also went to the hospital.

No charges have been filed and the accident is still under investigation.

A detour is in place and drivers are advised to seek out alternate routes.


An accident on Interstate 81 in Salem is causing delays for drivers Monday night.

Authorities it's due to a tractor trailer accident near exit 137.

The south left lane and right lane are closed in that area.

Traffic backups are approximately 4 miles.

A detour has been set up for drivers in the area.

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