Two Killed On Snowy Virginia Interstate

Virginia State Police say a father and son have died after being hit by a tractor-trailer while trying to help driver who wrecked in snow on Interstate 81.

Around 12:40 a.m. Friday, a car spun out of control on I-81 in Wythe County and one of the passengers was injured. The men stopped to help, and minutes later a tractor-trailer trying to avoid the vehicle jackknifed, striking their minivan.

Police say 25-year-old William Edward Smith Jr. of Mooresburg, Tenn., was standing outside the minivan and was struck. His father, 54-year-old William Edward Smith Sr. of Sylva., N.C., was inside the minivan. Both died at the scene.

A third occupant of the minivan, a nurse who was helping the person injured in the car, was not injured.

State police are investigating and say charges are pending.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by Tina Location: California on Feb 6, 2010 at 10:46 PM
    This is one of the saddest things I saw all week on the news... To imagine that something like that would happen while trying to help others.. Seems so unfair and I can't imagine what the victims' families are going through. Not only that, but the people in the car only suffered minor injuries compared to the deaths that resulted in people trying to be good samaritans. My thoughts and prayers go out to them.
  • by Chris Location: Greenville on Feb 6, 2010 at 04:04 AM
    I see nothing in this story that mentions speed as factor. There are bad drivers in every type of vehicle, regardless of the size. It sounds like it was a bad spot, probably not the best position to be in for the individuals stopped. I am sure mistakes were made on all accounts that led up to the fatal crash. A 80,000 pound truck doesnt require alot of momentum to crush and kill someone, especially if they are outside of the vehicle. One thing I wanted to point out to Sue, more people are killed by the SUV Soccer mom's on their cell phones than by tractor trailer drivers. Mile for mile, tractor trailer drivers are involved in WAY less accidents than the motoring public. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those involved or affected by the accident. We call these things accidents because it was not meant to happen, it seems alot of people seem to forget that and are quick to point fingers.
  • by lcw Location: columbia on Feb 5, 2010 at 05:36 PM
    I,am a truck driver, when I,am on a 4,lane going 70 mpa. and a 4#wheeler goes by me going 80, then I could say they are unsafe to##
  • by M on Feb 5, 2010 at 12:52 PM
    My prayers go out to the families! Its so sad that such a tragic event happened while trying to help others!
  • by sue Location: greenville on Feb 5, 2010 at 12:12 PM
    I know that tractor-trailers drive way to fast on the highways. Heck, they drive to fast on any road. I feel bad for the ones killed. They were heros to stop and help out.
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