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Tractor-trailer driver charged in connection with fatal crash on I-81 in Botetourt County

State police said 30-year-old Michael Kreul died after crash

Deadly crash on Interstate 81 on July 29, 2020.
Deadly crash on Interstate 81 on July 29, 2020. (Virginia State Police)


State police said the man who died in a crash on Interstate 81 south in Botetourt County on Wednesday morning was 30-year-old Michael Kreul, of Lexington.

A tractor-trailer driver involved in the crash has been charged after state police said they were illegally parked on the side of the interstate.

Kreul was headed south on I-81 in a Dodge Ram when he ran off the right side of the road and hit a tractor-trailer that was parked illegally on the shoulder.

The Dodge Ram ended up in the left lane and was hit by a Freightliner.

The drivers of the tractor-trailers were not hurt.

Kreul was taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital after the crash where he later died.


A man is dead after a tractor-trailer crash on I-81S in Botetourt County, according to Virginia State Police.

Authorities say a pickup truck hit an illegally parked tractor parked on the shoulder near mile marker 158 around 5:15 a.m. According to police, the pickup then rested in the road and was hit by another tractor-trailer going south.

The man was taken to Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where police say he later died.

Troopers say they are working to notify family.

According to police, I-81 will remain blocked until the vehicles are removed. A detour has been set up at exit 162.

The crash remains under investigation.


A tractor-trailer crash has closed I-81S in Botetourt County, according to VDOT.

Authorities say the crash happened near mile marker 158. As of 6:50 a.m., traffic is backed up for about 2 miles.

Drivers should expect delays.

Stay with 10 News as this breaking news story develops.

About the Authors:

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a digital content producer in July 2018.