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.

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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

About the Authors

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.

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