Tractor-Trailer Driver Charged After Crash with Bus Closes I-81
A Staunton man has been charged with reckless driving, after an early morning traffic accident on Interstate 81 in Rockingham County that sent himself and six others to the hospital.
Virginia State Police were called to the scene of a two-vehicle accident around 4:00 Tuesday morning. A tractor-trailer and a New York tour bus collided in the northbound lanes of I-81, forcing both vehicles into the median and the tractor-trailer to overturn.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, 29-year-old Dean J. Crawford, has been charged with reckless driving. The tractor-trailer is owned by Sysco Food Services of Virginia, Inc., out of Harrisonburg.
Out of 41 passengers on board the bus, none of them were seriously injured. Seven people were taken to Rockingham Memorial Hospital with minor injuries, including the drivers of both vehicles. Five bus passengers have been treated and released.
Virginia State Police say the bus passengers will be staying in the area until the bus company, New York Sky Express, sends another bus for them. It was traveling from Nashville, Tennessee to New York City.
The crash closed all lanes of traffic in both directions for more than four hours. The accident is still under investigation.
Virginia State Police
A Staunton man has been charged with reckless driving following a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 81 that sent himself and six others to the hospital.
At 4:05 a.m., Virginia State Police Trooper R.N. Lawson was called to the scene on Interstate 81 at the 244 mile marker in Rockingham County. A tractor-trailer was in the right northbound lane of I-81 when it changed lanes to the left. There was a commercial passenger bus in the left northbound lane and the two vehicles collided. The impact forced both vehicles off the left side of the road and into the median. The cab of the tractor-trailer overturned. The bus remained upright.
The tractor-trailer came to rest up against the bus blocking the door, so passengers had to exit the bus through the emergency windows on the sides of the bus. There were a total of 40 passengers and one driver on board. Of the five passengers injured in the crash, one was a female adult and four were adult males. All five passengers have been treated and released from Rockingham Memorial Hospital. The male driver, Quan Guan Pan, 50, of Elmhurst, N.Y., was also transported to Rockingham Memorial Hospital for treatment of serious, but non-life threatening injuries.
Those passengers not injured in the crash were transported by a City of Harrisonburg transit bus to a nearby rescue squad. The bus is owned by New York Sky Express, Inc., of New York, N.Y., and was traveling from Tennessee to New York City.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, Dean J. Crawford, 29, of Staunton, was also transported to Rockingham Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Crawford has been charged with reckless driving. The double-trailers were refrigerated and loaded with frozen foods. The tractor-trailer is owned by Sysco Food Services of Virginia, Inc., out of Harrisonburg, Va.
The crash remains under investigation at this time.
Fire and rescue units from Rockingham County, City of Harrisonburg, Bridgewater, Grottoes, and Broadway all responded to the scene. VDOT and Harrisonburg Police and Sheriff's Offices assisted with traffic detours resulting from the crash.
By 8:35 a.m., all north and southbound lanes of I-81 were re-opened to through traffic.