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Tractor-trailer accident blocks portion of I-81

May 17, 2010
  • A tractor-trailer sits on its side after an accident Monday afternoon on northbound Interstate 81 near the Showalter Road exit.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer,

HAGERSTOWN -- The driver of a tractor-trailer carrying 43,000 pounds of paper told authorities he fell asleep Monday afternoon, causing the rig to drift off northbound Interstate 81 south of Showalter Road and crash, according to a Maryland State Police spokesman.

The driver, Augustine Christian, 76, of Smyrna, Ga., had been driving since 5 a.m., Trooper 1st Class Corey Steffy said.

Christian, who was charged with negligent driving, was taken to Washington County Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, state police said.

The tractor-trailer went off the interstate at about 4:45 p.m. and overturned on the right shoulder, state police said.

There is a curve in the road, and a witness said the tractor-trailer continued straight instead of following the curve, Steffy said.

One of the northbound lanes was closed after the crash, and it remained closed late Monday as workers removed rolls of paper from the truck and prepared to remove the rig, Steffy said.

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