By Katie Demeria
An overturned tractor trailer caused significant delays on Interstate-81 Thursday, but according to Virginia State Police officials, it did not appear that either occupant within the vehicle suffered life-threatening injuries.
The single-vehicle crash occurred around 1:50 p.m. near mile marker 299 in Warren County. It involved a tractor trailer hauling general freight, with two occupants inside, Sgt. F.L. Tyler said.
Cidy Diawara, 43, of Bayoone, New Jersey, was operating the vehicle as it traveled southbound on I-81.
"When the driver lost control, he ran off to the left into the median," Tyler said. "He went through a guardrail and into an embankment, and the vehicle overturned onto the driver's side."
Tyler said, because the vehicle was on its side, it took some time to extricate Diawara and the co-driver, Conroy Williams, 32, of East Orange, New Jersey.
Diawara was transported to Winchester Medical Center by ground while Williams was flown to the medical center from the scene by a helicopter, Tyler added.
"But, according to the information I was given, it didn't appear that they suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash," he said.
Trooper A.E. Clark investigated the incident. Based on his report, Diawara was charged with reckless driving.
Traffic was backed up on I-81 while rescue workers extricated Williams and Diawara. Tyler said both north and southbound lanes had to be closed briefly when the medical helicopter arrived.
All lanes were reopened by 3:30, he said. In the meantime, traffic was detoured to Route 11.
The tractor trailer was removed later after rush hour, Tyler said. Due to its position, crews did not have to interfere with traffic in order to extricate it.
The Shenandoah Sheriff's Office, Middletown Fire Department, Woodstock Fire Department, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Frederick County Sheriff's Office and Middletown Police Department assisted Clark on the scene.
Earlier in the day, an incident in Page County required rescue workers' attention, as well.
Two school buses belonging to Highland School, a private school out of Fauquier County, were traveling on Fort Valley Road when the first bus stopped at a stop sign and the second bus struck it in the rear at around 1 p.m., Tyler said.
A total of 48 students were on the buses, and six were taken to Page Memorial Hospital for minor injuries.
Trooper T.E. Jefferson was assisted on the scene by members of the Virginia State Police motor carrier safety team, and the Page County Sheriff's Department, which provided buses to transport the remaining students to another location.
The cause and factors of the incident are still under investigation.
Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org