Truck driver gets stuck in I-81 backups

Published: Jan. 16, 2022 at 10:29 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Crashes caused delays for drivers Sunday as snow and ice piled up on roadways across southwestern Virginia.

One wreck shut down Interstate 81, keeping a truck driver on the road for longer than he had planned.

“I thought I was ahead of the game,” Michael Lombard said.

Lombard tries to be strategic behind the wheel of his big rig, but Sunday the winter storm stayed one step ahead.

“It just got bad really quick. I was going 70 mph one minute and then I was trying to go down a hill at 5 mph and then I just came to a stop,” he said.

He got caught in a backup in Montgomery County after a tractor-trailer crash in Roanoke County shut down the interstate.

“How can certain things be communicated better for drivers out there, because I would have, if I had known, I guess I would have pulled over and parked sooner,” he said.

The detour to Route 11 at Exit 118 allowed Lombard to keep moving, but he said it was a long day.

“It’s kind of past my bedtime. I normally like to rack out around seven, eight o’clock and then get up at 3 a.m. and get rolling,” Lombard said.

He said he made it to a truck stop in Lexington around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. And even with all the delays, Lombard said he loves what he does.

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