Virginia State Police investigating fatal crash on I-81 in Augusta County

I-81 crash near MM 232, Sept. 8, 2022.
I-81 crash near MM 232, Sept. 8, 2022.(VDOT)
Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 2:39 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Virginia State Police responded to a single-vehicle incident on southbound I-81 about a half-mile north of Route 616 at 4:02 p.m. on Thursday, September 8.

According to VSP, a 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck towing a camper was heading south on I-81 when it attempted to move from the right lane to the left lane.   A fast moving black sedan traveling in the left lane causing the Dodge to swerve back into the right lane. The Dodge ran off the right of the interstate, hitting a guardrail. The truck then crossed back over and ran off the left side of the road, hitting another guardrail, and overturned.

Henry Hamel, 72, of Baldwinville, Massachusetts was a passenger in the truck. He died at the scene. VSP reports the driver, Bette Hamel, 77, of Baldwinville, Mass., suffered serious injuries and was transported for treatment. Both were wearing a seatbelt.

State Police report the fast moving sedan was witnessed driving at excessive speeds, driving aggressively and passing other motorists on both the right and left shoulders. The vehicle is described as a black sedan, possibly a Lincoln or Mercedes-Benz, with tinted windows and an object dangling from the rearview mirror. If you have any information regarding this crash or the black sedan, you are asked to call 434-352-7128 or email

The crash remains under investigation.