California truck driver dies in Wythe County crash

California truck driver dies in Wythe County crash

At 2:42 p.m. on Saturday (July 31), Virginia State Police responded to a crash on northbound I-81 almost a half mile south of Ready Mix Road in Wythe County.

A 2021 Freightliner Cascadia tractor-trailer was traveling north in the middle lane when it attempted to move into the left lane, striking a 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe. The Tahoe ran off the left side of the road and into the median. After striking the Tahoe, the tractor-trailer ran off the left side of the road and traveled through the median where it struck the guardrail. It then continued into the southbound lanes, swerved back into the guardrail and median where it overturned.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Willis M. Peters, Jr., 43, of San Bernardino, Calif., died at the scene. He was wearing a seatbelt.

The driver of the Tahoe, Mary L. Oriley, 34, of Appomattox, Va., was uninjured. She was wearing her seatbelt.

The crash remains under investigation.