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Police identify drivers who died after tractor-trailer crash on I-81 in Botetourt County

Two dead after early morning tractor-trailer crashes
Two dead after early morning tractor-trailer crashes

BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – State police released the names of the drivers killed in the double tractor-trailer crash on I-81 in Botetourt County on Thursday.

56-year-old Zerai Almedom, of Mint Hill, N.C., and 53-year-old Eric Larson, of Fort Worth, TX, both died at the scene.

It happened just before 2:15 a.m. on I-81 at mile marker 167.6.

A 2013 Volvo tractor-trailer, driven by Almedom, was headed north on I-81 at the 165.5 mile marker, when it ran off the left side of the road and hit the guardrail, according to state police.

Police said the tractor-trailer overturned and blocked the roadway.

A 2020 Freightliner, driven by Larson, hit the Volvo after the initial crash, according to state police.

Both tractor-trailers were pushed off the right side of the roadway.

State police said both drivers were wearing their seat belts.

The crash remains under investigation.