A North Carolina truck driver has been charged after overturning his semi and running into another tractor-trailer Monday on Interstate 77 in Carroll County.
According to Virginia State Police Sgt. R.D. Horton, the accident occurred at 10:10 a.m. Monday morning on I-77 Northbound at the 22.5 mile marker near Poplar Camp in the area of interstate known as the “Tater Hole.” Horton said Daniel W. Smith, 56, of Lexington, N.C. was driving a 2006 Freightliner when he came around the “S-curve” at the 22.5 mile marker known as the “Tater Hole.” Horton said Smith lost control of the truck and overturned, skidding into a guardrail on the right side of the road. Horton said Smith’s rig must have then bounced off the guardrail, causing it to careen to the left side of the road toward the median before striking another tractor-trailer, a 2010 Freightliner operated by Phillip L. Rossi, Sr., 40, of Hull, Georgia. Both tractor-trailers ended up in the median, Horton said.
Carroll County EMS, the Hillsville Volunteer Fire Department, Laurel Rescue Squad and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) all responded to the scene, although Horton said no injuries were reported. Sgt. Horton said the collision caused the fuel tank to rupture in Rossi’s 2010 Freightliner, leading to VDEM being called to the scene for hazmat duties and fuel cleanup. Hillsville Fire Department assisted with the leaked fuel cleanup.
Horton said investigating State Trooper S.M. Cochran charged Smith with failure to maintain proper control of his vehicle. Cochran estimated damages of $25,000 to Smith’s 2006 Freightliner and $15,000 to Rossi’s 2010 Freightliner. Horton said both lanes were blocked for a short period of time on I-77 northbound, backing up traffic on the interstate for two to three miles at one point.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN