UPDATE: Victim of fatal I-81 crash identified - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Victim of fatal I-81 crash identified

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PULASKI – Virginia State Police are still investigating a fatal three-vehicle crash on Interstate 81 in Pulaski County. The crash occurred Thursday (Oct. 18) shortly after 1 p.m. in the southbound lanes of I-81 at the 87 mile marker. Trooper R.P. Church is investigating the crash.

A tractor-trailer was traveling southbound on I-81 when it came upon stopped traffic. The traffic had slowed to a stop due to a lane closure for bridge construction on I-81 at the 86 mile marker. The tractor-trailer was unable to brake in time and swerved to the left in an attempt to avoid the stopped traffic. As it swerved it struck a 2006 Ford Escape and then overturned onto its side in the median. Meanwhile, the Ford Escape was pushed forward and into the rear of another southbound tractor-trailer.

The female driver of the Ford Escape, Sharon L. Tate, 47, of Alexandria, Va., died at the scene.

Neither of the two tractor-trailer drivers was injured.

The driver of the first tractor-trailer, Manrajbir Singh Kang, 45, of Ashburn, Va., has been charged with reckless driving.

The State Police Accident Reconstruction Team and State Police Motor Carrier Safety Team responded to the scene to assist with the ongoing crash investigation.

Both southbound lanes of I-81 were re-opened by 9 p.m.

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PULASKI – Virginia State Police are still on the scene of a fatal three-vehicle crash on Interstate 81 in Pulaski County. The crash occurred shortly after 1 p.m. in the southbound lanes of I-81 at the 87 mile marker. Trooper R.P. Church is investigating the crash.

A tractor-trailer was traveling southbound on I-81 when it came upon stopped traffic. The traffic had slowed to a stop due to a lane closure for bridge construction on I-81 at the 86 mile marker. The tractor-trailer was unable to brake in time and swerved to the left in an attempt to avoid the stopped traffic. As it swerved it struck an SUV and then overturned onto its side in the median. Meanwhile, the SUV was pushed forward and into the rear of another southbound tractor-trailer.

The female driver of the SUV died at the scene. State police are still in the process of notifying her next of kin. She was the SUV's only occupant.

Neither of the two tractor-trailer drivers was injured.

The driver of the first tractor-trailer, Manrajbir Singh Kang, 45, of Ashburn, Va., has been charged with reckless driving.

The State Police Accident Reconstruction Team and State Police Motor Carrier Safety Team responded to the scene to assist with the ongoing crash investigation.

Both southbound lanes of I-81 remain closed as the overturned tractor-trailer is unloaded, so it can be up-righted and removed from the roadway. The tractor-trailer is loaded with frozen chicken.

State police hope to get one lane open to through traffic by 4:45 p.m. In the meantime, southbound traffic is being detoured off I-81 at Exit 89 and back on to I-81 at Exit 86.

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