Driver facing drug charges in I-81 crash that hurt 13

By Heather Butterworth - Digital Content Producer

Virginia State Police/Provided


A driver is facing charges in a crash that hurt 13 people Friday morning on I-81 North in Pulaski County. 

It happened shortly before 8:15 a.m. at mile marker 104. 

A bus from West Georgia Technical College was traveling northbound when the bus drifted into the right lane, side-swiping a tractor-trailer. Following the collision, the bus ran off the side of the road, overcorrected, then ran off the road a second time before hitting an embankment and overturning. 

All 13 passengers on the bus were taken to the hospital. None of the injuries were life-threatening. They are being housed at Radford Hospital while waiting for a replacement bus from the college. 

The bus driver, Willie F. Walker, 59, of Carrollton, Goergia, was arrested and is charged with driving under the influence of drugs, and possession of marijuana. Fatigue may have also been a factor. He is at the New River Valley Regional Jail. 

The crash remains under investigation. 

Christina Edney/Provided


A tractor-trailer was also overturned in the area. Wreckers are clearing both the bus and the tractor-trailer. 

The logo on the passenger bus was for West Georgia Tech. It's not known at this time if there are any injuries. The bus had front-end damage. 

The Virginia Department of Transportation is still reporting a 5-mile backup, as of 10:40 a.m., but traffic should return to normal soon. 

Christina Edney/Provided


An overturned passenger bus is causing a backup on I-81 North in Pulaski County Friday morning. 

It happened at mile marker 104. 

As of 9:40 a.m., the Virginia Department of Transportation is reporting a 6-mile backup. There are lane closures but traffic is getting by on the shoulder. 

Strong winds are causing major issues on the roads. 

Wendy Cregger/Provided

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