A Bristol man was seriously injured early today when his car, which was traveling north in the southbound traffic lanes of I-81, collided with a southbound tractor-trailer.

Trooper James Fillers, who investigated the 2:54 a.m. collision said Matthew Hall, 52, of State Street, Bristol, was flown from the scene near the 49-mile marker of I-81 to Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center.

Hall was being treated in the hospital’s intensive-care unit this morning, according to Trooper Fillers, who said numerous criminal charges also are pending against the injured man.

Officers think Hall apparently began driving the 1984 Buick sedan north in the southbound traffic lanes of I-81 at Exit 44, which is about five miles south of the accident scene, according to Fillers.

He noted that the sedan struck the trailer of a tanker truck registered to Barger Leasing, of Weber City, Va., that was being driven south on I-81 by James Pierson, 36, of Gate City, Va.

Even though Pierson swerved his truck into the median of the four-lane divided highway in an attempt to avoid a head-on collision, the northbound sedan still hit the rear wheels of the truck’s tanker trailer, according to Trooper Fillers.

Pierson escaped injury in the collision, but Hall was trapped in the wreckage of his car until freed by the Fall Branch Volunteer Fire Department, the trooper said.
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