Virginia interstate workers cope after I-81 work-zone crash kills a crew member

Crew members at the I-81 fatal crash site Tuesday are taking time to cope with the idea of losing one of their own.

ROANOKE, Va. – Crew members at the I-81 fatal crash site Tuesday are taking time to cope with the idea of losing one of their own.

Steven Hall, one of the workers there that night of the crash said the hardest part is knowing the man that died.

“I had some emotions going through my head because I grew up with them and knew him personally for several years now. I just couldn’t believe it,” Hall said.

The first person Hall called was his mother, Janet Lacks.

Miles away from the crash site, Lacks could only imagine if it were her son.

“I don’t know how any of us would handle it. I think I would just probably break down. I wouldn’t be the same if something happened to him,” Lacks said.

Lacks and her son also think of his kids and what it would be like for them without a dad.

“His own kids…that it could have been him…what would’ve happened,” Lacks said.

“See dad one day but he could not make it home the next day. It’s a thought that constantly goes through my mind. But I still got to do it because I got to be able to take care of them,” Hall said.

Hall said his crew is going back to I-81 next week but will be going to a different spot. He said it’s just too soon to return to the site of the accident.

Hall also knows when he returns to work, a piece of the crew is going to be missing.

“Somebody else is going to be up there. And I’m going to look up there and it’s not going to be the same, because it’s not going to be him,” Hall said.


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Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.