State Police identify drivers killed, involved in Roanoke County four-vehicle crash

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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Police shared the names of the Roanoke woman and the Christiansburg man killed in last week’s crash and vehicle fire involving two cars and two tractor-trailers in Roanoke County.

According to Virginia State Police, a 2015 tractor-trailer heading south on I-81 on Wednesday, Jan. 20 rear-ended a 2005 Hyundai Sonata, causing the Hyundai to spin out in the southbound lanes and overturn.

Meanwhile, the 2015 tractor-trailer struck a 2004 Chevrolet Impala, which pushed the Chevrolet into the rear of a 2017 tractor-trailer.

The 2017 tractor-trailer then pulled off onto the right shoulder as the 2015 tractor-trailer once again hit the Hyundai, which collided with the 2017 tractor-trailer. 

Police say all of the vehicles were traveling along I-81 South when the crash took place at approximately 5:23 p.m. on Jan. 20 at mile marker 132.

In addition, the impact of the crash reportedly caused the Chevrolet and Hyundai to catch on fire.

According to officials, both the Chevrolet driver, 61-year-old Janet W. Ridenhour of Roanoke, and the Hyundai driver, 60-year-old Gary L. King of Christiansburg, died at the scene of the crash.

Meanwhile, the driver of the 2015 tractor-trailer — identified by police as 42-year-old Keith D. Williams of Winter Garden, Florida — was treated for minor injuries at the scene.

However, the driver of the 2017 tractor-trailer — 53-year-old Melvin D. McKee III of Chattanooga, Tennessee — was reportedly not injured in the crash.

The Virginia State Police Salem Division Crash Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and is helping out with the ongoing crash investigation. At this time, though, authorities say alcohol did not factor into the crash.

Virginia State Police say charges are pending, but did not specify which individual the charges are pending against.

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