U-Haul Driver Charged With a DUI After Wreck

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV)-- "We just really hope that everyone's o.k. and that there's no deaths," said Tiffany Kitchen, a traveler and EMT, who was one of many wondering why traffic was stopped for miles on I-81 N.

State police said a U-haul struck a Camry and then a pick-up truck, flipping the truck over near mile marker 230 in Augusta County.

Patricia Schimmel was trapped inside the pick-up truck and was airlifted by Aircare to UVA Medical Center.

As crews worked to help people involved, many travelers said the interstate slowdown it caused was unexpected.

"Highway was moving fine, we were doing about 80 down the highway, and then all of a sudden, the trucker that's in front of my car just swerved over into my lane," said Kitchen,"it just dead stopped traffic."

The back-up lasted for more than two hours on the northbound side.

Troopers said George Schimmel, who was also in the truck hit by the U-haul was treated and released from Augusta Health.

Troopers have said this is an ongoing investigation. They are waiting to release the name of the U-haul driver because they need to notify family members first.

Traffic going southbound was not affected.

As travelers waited, they turned their cars off and some helped other travelers.

"The one RV down there was letting people use the bathroom which was pretty nice. My car's off," said Kitchen.

A delay trooper said that alcohol is to blame in this case. More charges are pending for the U-haul driver who is in serious condition at UVA Medical Center.

Virginia State Police said that U-haul ran into two different vehicles on Interstate 81.

Many travelers were getting out of their cars and standing because the northbound lanes were closed for hours.

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