December 9, 2018, 10 p.m.
The Virginia State Police are begging motorists not to travel on Interstate 81 through Southwest Virginia Sunday night.
In a social media post issued around 8 p.m., VSP stated, “Roads have been slick and snow covered all day, causing vehicle after vehicle to become stuck.”
According to VSP officials, a vehicle lost control on I-81 in Pulaski County at 6:44 p.m. and slammed into a trooper and his patrol vehicle. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is also advising motorists to avoid Interstate 81 in southwestern Virginia and northeast Tennessee due to multiple blockages. There have been backups reported from the Tennessee/Virginia border to Abingdon in Washington County, a distance of over 20 miles.
“Much of the terrain is mountainous, causing multiple instances of tractor-trailers getting stuck on inclines. Emergency response teams are working to get those tractor-trailers moving again, but it is a time-consuming, one-by-one process,” stated a VDOT spokesperson.
Around 8 p.m., VDOT issued an update on the progress of clearing the Interstate, stating, “Crews continue to help disabled tractor-trailers get moving again, but it is a slow process because they must be moved individually. They are working backwards and are near exit 14 in Abingdon.”
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