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Big rig wrecks kill 1, close part of I-81 in Va.

Thursday - 2/2/2012, 10:58am  ET

SALEM, Va. - A section of Interstate 81 in Virginia remains closed following a chain-reaction tractor-trailer crash that killed a Pennsylvania man.

Virginia State Police tell media outlets that a northbound tractor-trailer hit a guardrail and overturned. Another tractor-trailer hit that vehicle and overturned in the median. It was struck by a third tractor-trailer in the southbound lanes.

The first tractor-trailer spilled thioglycol, a toxic chemical.

The Virginia Department of Transportation says the wrecks occurred near mile marker 167 in Botetourt County just after 2 a.m. Thursday.

State Police identified the victim as 51-year-old Wayne Richie Kratzer of Mifflintown, Pa. Kratzer was driving one of the northbound tractor-trailers.

Traffic is being detoured onto Route 11.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Tags: i-81