Police: Tractor-trailer driver who blocked I-85 didn't have proper license

Posted at 12:03 PM, Sep 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-16 17:53:51-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Interstate 85 south in Petersburg is back open now after a tractor-trailer accident shut it down for over an hour.

The accident happened just before 11 a.m. on Friday.

The tractor-trailer crash blocked both southbound lanes, leaving drivers stuck on Friday afternoon.

"There was a trapped driver in the semi pinned between the outside and the actual vehicle," Chris Magann, a battalion chief with Petersburg Fire & EMS, said.

Magann said it took about 14 minutes to free the driver. To get him out safely, they used a lifting technique using airbags to lift the truck off the ground just enough to free the driver.

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Virginia State Police said the driver of the truck told them that a tire blew out. However, their investigation revealed that the driver didn't have a commercial driver's license to be behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer.

The driver, from Glen Allen, is now charged with reckless driving and driving without a CDL.

Dale Bennett with the Virginia Trucking Association said that it's rare to find unlicensed drivers behind the wheel of a semi-truck.

"Which is why we support funding law enforcement like the Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Safety Enforcement Team so they're out there checking licenses and checking trucks to ensure those behind the wheel are properly licensed, they're complying with safety regulations and they're drug and alcohol-free," Bennett said.

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Bennett said that there are plenty of well-paying jobs out there when it comes to driving a truck, adding that getting your commercial driver's license is the first step to a career.

The driver of the semi-truck was taken to VCU Medical Center to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Virginia State Police are still investigating the incident at this time.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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