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Two injured in I-81 crash

Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue personnel and Strasburg Fire Department members work to transport one of the victims who was trapped after this car and tractor trailer collided. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

Strasburg Fire Department members work to free a trapped victim. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

Virginia State Trooper R.M. Weiss looks over the scene of this accident on southbound Interstate 81 south of the Interstate 66 interchange on Tuesday evening. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

By Katie Demeria

Injuries resulting from a two-vehicle wreck on Interstate 81 on Tuesday afternoon were minor, according to Virginia State Police.

Sgt. F.L. Tyler said the incident occurred around 4 p.m. at the intersection of I-81 south and Interstate 66 west.

A 1998 Lincoln Continental operated by Frederick Sullivan, 67, of Rockwell, North Carolina, was heading southbound on I-81. Sullivan's wife, Rhonda Sullivan, 57, was in the passenger seat.

"When they came upon the ramp to I-66 westbound, they thought it was a third lane and pulled into it, continuing to pass a tractor trailer," Tyler said. "When they realized the lane was going to end, [Frederick] Sullivan attempted to come back into the southbound lanes of 81 and lost control."

The Sullivans went under the 2011 freight liner, which was in the right lane and operated by Sarah Raper, 23, of Murphy, North Carolina. Tyler said it took a while to get the Sullivans out of the vehicle, which impacted the traffic on I-81.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, traffic was backed up three miles and was largely cleared out by 6 p.m.

Tyler said Trooper K.L. Myers, who investigated the incident, described the Sullivans' injuries as minor. They were both transported to Winchester Medical Center.

Myers charged Frederick Sullivan with improper passing, according to Tyler. Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue Services, crews from Strasburg and Middletown, and the Virginia Department of Transportation assisted at the scene.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com

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