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Man hurt, tractor-trailer driver charged in I-81 North crash that caused major cleanup

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ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. – State police say a North Carolina man is in the hospital after a wreck on I-81 North that involved a tractor-trailer.

It happened around 10 p.m. Thursday at mile marker 206, which is in the Rockbridge County/Staunton area. 

A 2013 Chevy Silverado that was hauling several barrels of non-hazardous fluid was in the right lane headed north. Because it was only going around 40 mph on the highway, a tractor-trailer swerved into the left lane to avoid the pickup truck, according to Trooper A.J. Garasimowicz. The tractor-trailer was unable to avoid the pickup, and the pickup hit a guardrail and flipped into an embankment. 

The barrels of fluid then burst, prompting a major cleanup that shut down a stretch of the highway for several hours. 

The pickup driver, identified as Clinton Edwards, of North Carolina, was ejected and had to be taken to Augusta Health, where he was later transferred to UVA Medical Center. He was not wearing a seatbelt, according to state police. He is expected to be OK. 

The tractor-trailer driver, Georgia resident Robert Badger, is charged with an unsafe lane change. He was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured.