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Drivers hurt in truck crash on I-81

Stephens City resident charged with reckless driving in incident

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

State police charged a Stephens City man with reckless driving after his truck collided with a tractor-trailer stopped on the side of Interstate 81 near Edinburg early Friday morning.

The crash sent both drivers to local hospitals for treatment of minor and non-life threatening injuries, according to Virginia police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

A tractor-trailer traveling south on I-81 in Shenandoah County ran out of fuel and the driver pulled the vehicle over to the right shoulder at the 280 mile marker, Geller stated in a release. The driver had properly marked the tractor-trailer, according to police.

As the driver stood in front of the vehicle to refuel it, a southbound box truck ran off the interstate and struck the rear of the tractor-trailer at approximately 6 a.m., Geller stated. The box truck then traveled along the side of the tractor-trailer, striking the trailer before overturning in the road, according to Geller.

The impact of the collision pushed the tractor-trailer forward, striking the driver, identified as Sokada Soch, 46, of California, the release states. Rescue workers took Soch to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, according to Geller.

Rescue workers took the driver of the box truck, identified as Daniel J. McTiernan, 22, of Stephens City, to Rockingham Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries police do not consider life-threatening, Geller states.

McTiernan was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, according to police.

Trooper D.W. Burkeholder investigated the crash and charged McTiernan with reckless driving, Geller states. Fatigue played a role in the crash, according to police.

Authorities reopened both southbound lanes of the highway to traffic at approximately 8:45 a.m., Geller stated.


And why would a tractor-trailer run out of fuel? Pushing the limits most likely, I would say. Not a great place to stop for any reason. Fortunately no one lost their life but it's always just a matter of time until we hear of another crash.

I avoid Interstate 81 when possible because people drive like idiots. I've never been on this interstate without seeing potential accidents. Cars drive so close, they look like they are attached. No one seems to understand speed and the amount of time it takes to stop. It's like playing Russian Roulette every time you get behind the wheel.

I agree, there are more "steering wheel holders" than real drivers nowadays in the trucking industry. It is possible this was a miscalculation of a rookie driver combined with a lack of real truck stops along I81. It could also be one of Obama's fair trade foreign trucks that is calibrated in Km versus Miles.

It could also be mechanical failure between the two saddle tanks. Only one is plumbed into the fuel system, the other has a transfer line into the main tank. Sometimes that valve fails to open.

You're actually blaming this on the truck that was stopped along the side of the road, and not the box truck that ran OFF the road? I was stuck in the traffic for an hour and a half. The truck was completely pulled off the side of the road at an exit ramp. How the box truck hit him is beyond me. My best guesses are texting, eating, checking out a woman, the usual distractions. I've been driving that that section of interstate 5 days a week, 60 miles each way, per day for over 3 years. We all need to pay more attention, but I certainly don't blame the tractor trailer driver. As the article states, he was pulled OFF the road, and properly marked. I'm certainly glad that no lives were claimed.

I don't believe anyone is blaming the tractor trailer, it is clear who is at fault here. It's not a good place to stop for any reason and running out of gas seems a bit careless.

I don't envy you having to be on that road so much. Sixty miles each way would drive me a little nuts. Yes, thankfully no one lost their life.

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