wsls logo

Tractor-trailer driver dies in I-81 crash in Wythe County

Crash happened Saturday afternoon about a half mile south of Exit 77


WYTHE COUNTY, Va. – A 43-year-old man is dead after a crash on Interstate 81 on Saturday in Wythe County.

At 2:42 p.m., Virginia State Police responded to the crash, just south of Exit 77 onto E Lee Highway and Chapman Road.

A tractor-trailer going northbound was in the middle lane and when police said it attempted to get into the left lane and hit a 2013 Chevy Tahoe.

The Tahoe ran off the left side of the road and went into the median, while the tractor-trailer ran off the left side of the road, went through the median, hit the guardrail, continued into the southbound lanes, swerved back into the guardrail and then ended up in the median, where it overturned, according to Virginia State Police.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Willis Peters Jr., 43, of San Bernardino, California, died at the scene.

The driver of the Tahoe was not hurt in the crash.

Police said both drivers were wearing a seat belt.

The crash remains under investigation.

About the Author:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.