Increased Traffic, Construction & Weather Create Hazardous Conditions
Virginia State Police patrolling in the Roanoke Valley area were very active the past two days. There were some major attributes contributing increased traffic with college students returning back to Virginia Tech, road construction and bad weather. These conditions contributed to four separate wrecks around the same location on Interstate 81, and multiple wrecks on Interstate 581, said Senior Trooper Garry Chafin.
On I-81, construction has one lane closed, which caused traffic to come to a crawl in one lane. Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle sideswiped another in the left lane, attempting to avoid stopped traffic, and then ran into the back of another car. This started a chain reaction involving a total of five vehicles. The driver of the car that swerved, Darr Graham of Salem, was cited for reckless driving. On Thursday, a Virginia State Trooper was involved in a 6-car pileup on I-264 Westbound. The trooper and another driver were taken to the hospital for minor injuries.
A driver of a 1994 Toyota Tundra going about 60 mph on I-81 and collided with a 2000 Toyota Celica going about 15 mph, Chafin said. The Celica then launched forward into a tractor-trailer, the driver of the tractor-trailer was uninjured. The driver of the Tundra, 19-year old Tyler Austin Spence of Catawba, was charged with DUI. Chafin said Spence was taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with a possible concussion and chest pains. He was not wearing a seat belt. The driver of the Celica was a female juvenile who also was taken to Roanoke Memorial with a possible concussion and back injuries after hitting the steering wheel and windshield, Chafin said.
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