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Update: State troopers recovering from injuries in Interstate 81 accident

interstate 81Two troopers struck during a multi-vehicle crash in Rockingham County Friday afternoon continue to recover from their injuries.

At approximately 2:35 p.m. Friday, Virginia State Police initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling north on Interstate 81 in Rockingham County. The vehicle stopped on the right shoulder at the 253 mile marker. The violation was for speeding and suspected impaired driver.

During the course of the traffic stop, a 2005 Saturn traveling north on I-81 in the left lane lost control and spun around in the travel lanes. A northbound 2001 Honda Accord, trying to avoid the Saturn, ran off the right side of the highway and struck the state trooper’s car and the other vehicle stopped on the shoulder.

The crash also resulted in two of the Virginia State Police troopers involved in the initial traffic stop to be injured. Trooper G.E. Peele was transported to Rockingham Memorial Hospital and then on to UVA Medical Center where he is still being treated for serious, but non-life threatening, injuries. Sgt. S.D. McCurry was later transported to Rockingham Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The driver of the Saturn, Nicole T. Rudzik, 26, of Harrisonburg, Va., was not injured in the crash. Rudzik was charged with Reckless Driving.

The driver of the Honda, Patrick A. Fruchterman, 21, of Annandale, Va. was not injured in the crash.

The driver of the vehicle originally stopped on I-81 by state police was not injured in the crash. William D. Blackwell, 45, of Timberville, Va., was charged with speeding and arrested for DUI.

The incident remains under investigation.

augusta free press
augusta free press