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Rig overturns on I-81, snarls southbound traffic

June 13, 1998

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A southbound tractor-trailer truck ran off Interstate 81 on Friday morning overturned, slid more than 200 feet on its side, knocked down about 180 feet of guard rail and ended up perpendicular in the road, closing all southbound lanes for more than six hours, state police said.

Traffic was backed up from mile marker 15, where the wreck occurred, to mile marker 23, state police said.

The driver, Gurminder Singh, 26, of Queens Village, N.Y., was not injured, police said. No charges were filed as of Friday.

According to the police report, off-duty Trooper C.A. Mahood also heading south on I-81 when the 7:15 a.m. accident occurred.

According to the police report, Mahood estimated the trucker's speed at 70 mph. The rig left the highway, ran onto the grass median, swerved to the right, crossed back over the road, hit the guardrail, overturned and slid on its side.

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Police said the driver lost control when he reached across the cab of the truck to get something.

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