All lanes open on I-85 after tractor trailer accident

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - All lanes of Interstate 85 are back open right now. Earlier Friday there was an accident involving a tractor trailer on Interstate 85 in Petersburg at Squirrel Level Road.

The crash occurred when a piece of equipment from a flatbed tractor-trailer came off the trailer and came to rest in the right lane of Interstate 85 southbound. A 2005 International tractor with dual-trailers traveling southbound stuck the piece of equipment while attempting to avoid it and ran off the left side of the roadway. The International tractor-trailer struck approximately 200 feet of guardrail causing the second trailer to overturn onto its left side.

The Fort Lee Hazardous Materials Unit was called by the City of Petersburg Fire Department to assist with determining if a fluid type substance leaking from the tractor-trailer was hazardous.  During the investigation to determine if the substance was hazardous both lanes northbound and southbound were closed for approximately one hour.  The fluid type substance was later determined not to be hazardous.

Traffic was diverted from southbound 85 onto Squirrel Level Road in the City of Petersburg.  Traffic on northbound 85 was diverted onto Route 1 in Dinwiddie County. The lanes were then re-opened to allow traffic through the area.

The driver of the International tractor-trailer, Eric Pagan, 48, of New Jersey and an adult male passenger where not injured in the crash.

The driver hauling the piece of equipment, Rickey Shelton, 40, of Richmond, was charged with failure to properly secure his equipment.

The Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Inspection Unit assisted in the on-going investigation.

The Dinwiddie County Sheriff's Office and City of Petersburg Police Department assisted with traffic control.

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