Driver arrested for DUI, hit-and-run in tractor-trailer crash on I-81 in Roanoke County

Police said he ran away from the scene and was found walking along I-81

The crash is near mile marker 143


A 50-year-old New Jersey man was arrested for a DUI and hit-and-run for his role in an early morning tractor-trailer crash, according to Virginia State Police.

Authorities identified the driver Steven Lender, 50, of New Jersey.

The accident happened on the bridge where I-581 and I-81 meet, police said. The bridge and several cars were damaged as a result of the crash.

Police said the northbound tractor-trailer ran off the road, hit the bridge, causing debris from the crash to fall on the road below. The truck was partially hanging off the bridge when Lender ran away from the scene, according to police.

Lender was found walking north on I-81 at mile marker 144, police said.


Authorities have released more information on the crash that shut down parts of I-81 in Roanoke County on Tuesday morning.

The man driving the tractor-trailer that was reportedly hanging off the I-581 bridge ran away from the scene. Authorities said they found him not far from the crash and he is currently being questioned by troopers.

Police said the accident happened around 5:20 a.m. when the tractor-trailer hit the bridge on I-81 as it crossed the I-581 bridge.

There are no injuries, but police said several cars are disabled as a result of the crash.

As of 7:21 a.m., traffic is backed up for about three miles.


Southbound lanes on I-81 are now back open as first responders continue to work a crash in Roanoke County.

As of 6:40 a.m., northbound lanes remain closed, according to Virginia State Police.


A tractor-trailer crash has closed all I-81 North lanes in Roanoke County, according to VDOT.

Authorities said the accident happened near mile marker 143.

Roanoke County first responders and Virginia State Police are on the scene.

10 News has a crew en route to the scene.

Stick with 10 News as this breaking news story develops.

About the Author:

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