Man, 40, dies in head-on crash in Franklin County

Virginia State Police investigate Route 40 wreck

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FRANKLIN CO., Va. – A 40-year-old Callaway man died Friday in a head-on crash on Route 40 in Franklin County, Virginia State Police said.

John R. Bates, Jr. died at the scene of the crash, according to a news release from State Police.

Just before 7:30 a.m., Bates -- who was behind the wheel of a 1991 Toyota Tacoma, heading west on Route 40 about three quarters of a mile west of Colonial Turnpike -- crossed the center line and hit a 1997 Ford F-250, troopers said.

Ronald E. Clock, 53, of Rocky Mount, was driving the truck. He was airlifted to a hospital.

Troopers said Clock and Bates were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Clock’s passenger, however, was not. He or she was seriously injured, State Police said.

The crash remains under investigation.

The wreck caused major traffic delays in the area Friday morning. All lanes were closed in both directions. As of 9:15 a.m., a one-mile backup was reported. Eastbound and westbound drivers had to follow detours.

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