'Consistently kind, consistently honest': Loved ones remember man killed in Roanoke County crash

48-year-old Pete Orr died Tuesday afternoon

By Taj Simmons - Reporter

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. - Loved ones are mourning the victim of a deadly crash near Cave Spring as new court documents shine more light on what led up to the crash.

Thomas "Pete" Orr, 48, died when a driver rear-ended his van on Brambleton Avenue Tuesday afternoon. Orr's van struck a utility pole, and he died at the scene.

Orr had been an engineer with Roanoke Gas and was set to serve as the next chairman of the Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia board before his death.

"He was consistently kind, consistently honest, consistently giving and consistently faithful," said Roanoke Gas President Paul Nester.

"It's surreal right now," added Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia President Katherin Elam. "We know what happened, but the way it happened is the worst part of this whole thing."

New search warrants from Roanoke City Circuit Court reveal the driver who rear-ended Orr told authorities he had smoked marijuana a half-hour before the crash.

Instead of flowers, Orr's obituary asked people to donate money directly to Junior Achievement. Elam says she was humbled by the action.

"It's very overwhelming, to say the least," Elam said. "It speaks to what kind of a person he was."

Nester said Orr had spent his whole professional career working for Roanoke Gas. He says Orr's experience and spirit will be impossible to replace.

"We want to do what we can to honor him, remember him, and be stewards of the legacy he left us," Nester said.

No charges have been filed in the crash.

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