I-581 in Roanoke was the scene of a fiery crash that killed two people and left two others badly injured. The accident, which happened near the Valley View Boulevard exit, involved five vehicles, including two tractor-trailers, a maroon Ford, a white SUV and a utility truck.
According to statements given to police at the scene, the maroon Ford was driving north on I-581 when it made an erratic move on the road and crossed into the median. This caused a tractor-trailer also traveling north to cross through the median into the south lanes and collide with another tractor-trailer. Both trucks burst into flames. The SUV and utility truck were also involved in the crash, but investigators are still trying to determine what role they had in the accident.
Witnesses described the crash as “sounding like an explosion” and then "a ball of flames" came from one of the tractor-trailers and completely swallowed both trucks, leaving behind charred remains. Both drivers of the trucks were killed. A Roanoke Fire Department official classified the blaze, which brought nearly two-thirds of the city's firefighters to the scene, as a two-alarm fire.
The crash, which shut down three miles of the highway, is under investigation.
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Scene of fatal accident at I-581 and Valley View Blvd