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Victims identified in Wednesday's crash on I-81

 UPDATE (4/26/18 3:45 p.m.): Virginia State Police have released new details about the crash that left two people dead on I-81 Wednesday morning.

Troopers said a 2015 Acura RDX was driving south on I-81 at a high rate of speed in the left lane when it ran off the left side of the road and hit a guardrail. 

The driver then lost control and hit a 1999 Ford Explorer that was also traveling south on I-81.

Both cars ran off the right side of the road, hit the guardrail and one of the back seat passengers of the Ford was ejected. When the cars came back into the southbound lanes, the Ford overturned and ejected another back seat passenger.

The Acura then hit an embankment and rolled multiple times before hitting a tree line.

65-year-old Carl Bryant of Brookhaven, MS was driving the Acura and 65-year-old Joan Dickerson Bryant, also of Brookhaven, was in the passengers seat. Both were wearing seatbelts and was taken to the hospital with injuries.

The Ford was driven by 59-year-old Enid Beckwith, of Memphis, TN. He and the fron seat passenger, 63-year-old Annie Beckwith of Florence, AL, were both wearing seatbelts and were taken to the hospital for treatment.

The back seat passengers of the Ford were identified as 61-year-old Emma Beckwith and 58-year-old Wanda Alexander, both of Florence, AL, were ejected from the car and died at the scene. Neither were wearing their seatbelts.

Troopers said charges are pending and this is still an ongoing investigation.


UPDATE (5:00 p.m.): According to VSP, VDOT will be opening the closed portion of I-81 around 5:00 p.m.

WFXR learned that school bus routes were affected due to this crash. 

A Roanoke County School District spokesperson said school buses may be running late this afternoon, especially for those living in western and northern Roanoke County. A similar message was sent to all Glenvar and Northside area parents.

The Salem School District also sent a message to parents to let them know that students could be delayed because of the traffic.


UPDATE (3:15 p.m.): Virginia State Police tell WFXR News, two people have died and two others were flown to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after this morning's crash on I-81 in Salem.

Troopers said the road is still blocked and will remain blocked until the reconstruction is done. They believe that will take about an hour.

VDOT is detouring southbound traffic at 141 southbound. All traffic is being diverted to Route 11 and may get back on the interstate at exit 137.

Stick with WFXR for more updates throughout the night.


UPDATE: Southbound Interstate 81 will be shut down for about two hours after a two car accident at mile marker 141. 

According to Virginia State Police, it happened at 11:14 am.

Here is the press release: 

The Virginia State Police are working a two vehicle crash southbound Interstate 81 at the 141 mile marker.  The crash occurred at 11:14 a.m.  The southbound side of Interstate 81 is closed and will remain closed for approximately two hours while the investigation is completed.

The Virginia State Police and the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation will be assisting with the crash investigation.

More information will follow shortly.


UPDATE:  According to VDOT, the south bound lanes of Interstate 81 are still closed due to an accident at mile marker 139. 

Backups are about four and a half miles and a detour is in place.  

North bound traffic is moving at this time, but is congested. 


VDOT has shut down all lanes of Interstate 81 near mile marker 139 in Salem. 

The closure is due to an overturned car.  

A detour is in place but there is no word on when the road will be reopened. 

To check the VDOT cameras live, click here

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