Virginia State Police investigate two fatal crashes in Wythe County over the weekend

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(Photo: Courtesy Rural Retreat Volunteer Fire Department)

(Photo: Courtesy Rural Retreat Volunteer Fire Department)

WYTHE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia State Police are investigating two fatal crashes in Wythe County over the weekend.

At 2:49 p.m. on Friday, Virginia State Police responded to a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 81. A 2017 International box truck was traveling south on the interstate when it ran off the left side of the road, crossed through the median, and entered the northbound lanes. 

State police say the box truck struck a 2017 Nissan Pathfinder and two tractor-trailers in the northbound lanes, causing one of the tractor-trailers to run off the left side of the road and into the median.

The driver of the box truck, Orlando L. Craig, 44, of Arnold, Md., died at the scene. He was not wearing a seatbelt. The passenger was transported for treatment of serious injuries and was also not wearing a seatbelt.

The driver of the Pathfinder, Stephen D. Bell, 34, of Mount Juliet, T.N. was wearing a seatbelt and was transported for treatment of minor injuries, along with both of his passengers. The adult was wearing a seatbelt and the juvenile was in a child safety seat.

Both of the drivers of the two tractor-trailers were wearing seatbelts and were transported for treatment of serious injuries.

The Virginia State Police Wytheville Division Crash Reconstruction and Motor Carrier Safety teams are still investigating the crash.

At 1:09 a.m. Sunday, July 12, Virginia State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash in Wythe County.

Police say a northbound tractor-trailer, a 2019 Mack Anthem, ran off the left side I-81 at mile marker 63, struck the guardrail and bridge, went over the bridge, and caught on fire.

According to Virginia State Police, the vehicle was destroyed in the fire and its driver, Willie McLaurin, 50, of Flora, MS., died at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation. 

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