State police have released the following statement on this afternoon’s seven-car pile-up on I-81 at milemarker 173 north of Buchanan:
The Virginia State Police are continuing their investigation into a multiple vehicle crash involving 7 vehicles that occurred this afternoon around 3:15 pm on Interstate 81 southbound at the 172.8 mile marker in Botetourt County. The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2008 Toyota Scion van was traveling in the left lane when it was unable to stop for traffic in front of it that slowed down suddenly for a tractor-trailer switching lanes. The driver of the Scion struck a Nissan passenger vehicle in the rear and then the Scion was struck by a 1999 Ford Mustang which resulted in a chain reaction accident.
The following drivers were charged with following too close:
2008 Toyota Scion van operated by James Atkinson, age 22, of Richmond, Virginia
1999 Ford Mustang operated by Grant Maravetz, age 21, of Ashburn, Virginia
1995 Chevrolet S-10 pick up operated by Travis Hall, age 22, of Centerville, Virginia
2007 Dodge Charger operated by Mark Zagunis, age 19, of Cinnaminson, New Jersey
2008 Toyota Scion passenger car operated by Luren Wallace, age 20, of Fredericksburg, Virginia
There were no injuries in the crash and the left lane was blocked for over an hour.
No further information regarding the crash is available at this time.