Tractor-trailer driver charged in deadly Interstate 77 four-vehicle crash

Police say truck didn't slow down in time, causing crash


CARROLL COUNTY, Va. – A 74-year-old Galax man died in a crash Friday morning on Interstate 77 in Carroll County, according to state police.

Southbound traffic on I-77 was stopped when a tractor-trailer, driven by 48-year-old Silvester Gadson, of Charlotte, North Carolina, didn't slow down soon enough and instead, changed lanes in an attempt to avoid the stopped traffic ahead but hit a 2006 Lincoln Mark LT and a 2007 Pontiac G5, according to police.

The impact of that crash caused all three vehicles to run off the right side of the southbound lanes and strike the guardrail in separate places. Then the Pontiac reentered the southbound lanes and rear-ended a second tractor-trailer already stopped in the traffic. 

Gadson, as well as the driver of the Lincoln and the other tractor-trailer, were all wearing seat belts and not hurt in the crash. Gadson was charged with reckless driving. 

Police say the driver of the Pontiac, Robert Weatherman, 74, of Galax, was not wearing a seat belt and died at the scene.

His passenger, a 46-year-old woman, was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

She was wearing a seat belt.

The crash remains under investigation.

About the Author: