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State troopers work 10 interstate crashes over Easter weekend

(WHSV)
Published: Apr. 23, 2019 at 6:11 PM EDT
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Between Friday and Monday, Virginia State Police responded to 10 crashes on Interstate 81 in Augusta County alone. Sgt. C.J. Aikens said those numbers are not that surprising, but those crashes still caused issues for drivers.

Sgt. Aikens said state police responded to

, including two that happened close together on northbound I-81 near Weyers Cave. One crash happened near mile marker 234 around 2:45 p.m., and Sgt. Aikens said the left lane was blocked for about 45 minutes.

Another crash happened as a result of the back-up from that crash at mile marker 230. Sgt. Aikens said it took about 25 minutes to clear the lanes of that accident.

He added that it's sometimes time-consuming and challenging to clear lanes.

"Trying to get the wrecker there to remove that vehicle, using a crossover, or sometimes in the shoulder is not an option," Sgt. Aikens said. "So we can have an extended period of time trying to clear that traffic."

Clearing crashes isn't just sometimes challenging for state police — Sgt Aikens said it can also be dangerous. He said they often use the shoulder to get to crashes, and it's hard to know if there is a disabled car in the median.

"We're trying to work our way through traffic, and that can be dangerous for us, and then just trying to do it as safe as we can, making sure that we get to the scene as quick as we can to clear that, to get people moving again."

Once the lanes are open, it can still be a while before the back-up clears. On Monday, VDOT estimated seven miles of back-up after the accident at 234, and northbound lanes didn't clear for hours.

Virginia lawmakers recently

to fund improvements to the interstate through higher truck registration fees and gas tax increases, but it will still be some time before any of those repairs and improvements come to fruition.