3 wrecks close part of I-81 in Wythe Co., 2 killed

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Local,Virginia

WYTHEVILLE, Va. (AP) — Two people are dead following three related accidents that shut down a section of Interstate 81 in Wythe County.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller says the first accident was reported at 3:23 a.m. Tuesday. A northbound tractor-trailer ran off the interstate and overturned in the median and one southbound lane. Moments later, a southbound SUV hit the rig.

Geller says the SUV's driver died. Her identity was withheld pending notification of family. The tractor-trailer's driver, 53-year-old Philip O. Emiabata of Pflugerville, Texas, was charged with reckless driving.

A northbound tractor-trailer hit a piece of guardrail damaged in the first wreck and ran off the interstate. The driver was killed and a passenger was seriously injured. Geller identified the tractor-trailer's driver as 34-year-old James R. Anderson of Decherd, Tenn.

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