Authorities identify victims in crash on I-81S in Wythe County

Crash on I-81 in Wythe County (Credit: VDOT) (WSLS)


Virginia State Police is releasing more details about a crash in Wythe County that left two people dead.

Authorities say it happened on June 8 at about 8:10 p.m. on I-81 at the 73 mile marker.

We’re told 38-year-old Brittney L. Connatser, of Rural Retreat, was driving south in a 2018 Ford Fiesta and ran off the right side of the interstate. She overcorrected, ran off the left side of I-81 and crossed through the median, going into the northbound lanes.

Authorities say she then hit a tractor-trailer and a 2007 Honda GL 1899 motorcycle that were driving in the northbound lanes.

Unfortunately, Connatser died at the scene. She was not wearing a seat belt, authorities said. A 44-year-old male passenger was also transported to the hospital for serious injuries. No word yet on his condition.

The person operating the motorcycle, 56-year-old Ivan I. Kononchuk, of Tucker Georgia, was also transported to a nearby hospital for serious injuries.

The passenger on the motorcycle, 48-year-old Oksana P. Shore, also of Tucker, Georgia, did not make it, according to Virginia State Police. Both individuals were wearing helmets.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 51-year-old man from Texas, was not hurt in the crash and was wearing a seat belt.

The crash remains under investigation.


This crash has been cleared, according to VDOT.


Drivers heading north on I-81 through Wythe County can expect delays, according to VDOT.

Crews say the crash happened at mile marker 73.6

As of 11:01 p.m., the north left shoulder, left lane, and center lane are closed. Traffic backups are around one-and-a-half miles.

Stay with 10 News as this story develops

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Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.