Emergency guard rail repairs will take place Thursday afternoon on Jae Valley Road in Roanoke County.

Flaggers will be controlling traffic from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

The repair comes after a tanker truck carrying a formaldehyde solution crashed into the guard rail and went over an embankment Wednesday.

The crash site is approximately 1.5 miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Drivers should use caution and expect delays.

The driver was charged with losing control of his vehicle and failure to obey a road sign. Neighbors say they are seeing more truckers on the road, even though trucks are not supposed to drive on it.

"They come down this mountain religiously," neighbor James Hofmann said. "When something happens on (Route) 220, they all come over the mountain. Logging trucks, anything. Cattle trailers. It's been everything and anything.

The driver of the tanker was heading to a chemical distributor company called Chemsolv. It's located in the Roanoke Industrial Center.

Crews are still working to determine the best process to clean up the spill.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Virginia Department of Health are including soil and well water in the cleanup process.

Roanoke County Fire and Rescue say up to six wells may be tested.

Crews are still working to determine how many gallons of formaldehyde were spilled.

W.E.L. Inc. is in charge of conducting the cleanup and testing.


Jae Valley Road reopened to traffic around 12:25 a.m. Thursday. Future closures may be necessary as workers remove the tractor portion of the tanker truck that went down an embankment.

The guard rail will not be repaired for another week or so.


Residents who live along Jae Valley Road who were evacuated from their homes are now allowed back, according to Roanoke County Police.

Jae Valley Road will continue to remain closed for at least the next three hours while crews work to remove the tanker truck.

The tanker truck was capable of holding 8,000 gallons of fluid. Crews on the scene tell WDBJ7 the tanker was holding 4,800 gallons of formaldehyde solution at the time of the crash.

Due to the possibility of severe weather in the area, it is possible the tractor trailer may not be removed on Wednesday. Therefore, causing the road to stay closed into Thursday morning. 

Stay with for more on this developing story. 


The man driving the tanker carrying embalming fluid that crashed Wednesday morning in Roanoke County has been charged.

David H. Bennett, of Conway, S.C., was driving the tanker along Jae Valley Road when it crashed into a guard rail and went down an embankment. He is charged with failure to obey a highway sign and failure to maintain control.

The tanker was carrying 4,800 gallons of embalming fluid. The fluid leaked, causing homes to be evacuated. Residents aren't expected to be able to return to their homes until at least Thursday.

According to Roanoke County Police, trucks 28 feet or longer are forbidden on Jae Valley Road. Traffic signs stating that are clearly posted for drivers.