Update on Tuesday crash on I-81 in Wythe County

At 7:51 p.m., Tuesday (Jan. 30), Virginia State Police Senior Trooper C.A. Thompson responded to a crash on Interstate 81 at Exit 77 in Wythe County.

A 2013 Toyota Corolla was traveling south on I-81 when it stopped in the right, inside travel lane. There were two tractor-trailers traveling behind the Toyota. The first truck swerved to the left and is able to avoid the stopped car in the travel lane. The second tractor-trailer, whose line of sight was blocked by the first truck, swerved to the right in an attempt to avoid the stopped Toyota. But, the second tractor-trailer struck the Toyota. The second tractor-trailer then ran off the right side of the interstate, up an embankment and overturned.

The overturned tractor-trailer was loaded with livestock. Seventy-seven of the 83 pigs on board survived the crash. The surviving animals were transported to Wythe County Livestock Exchange. All of the livestock were assessed by a veterinarian with the Wythe County Animal Clinic, who responded to the scene.

The driver of the Toyota, Steven R. Wendel, 48, of Manassas, Va., was transported to Wythe Community Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Wendel was charged with improper stopping on a highway.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 71-year-old male from Indiana, was not injured in the crash.

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