Deadly crash occurs on Interstate 66

A motorist was killed Friday morning when his car collided with a roll back tow truck on the side of the road in the eastbound travel lanes of Interstate 66 in Warren County at mile marker 14.4.

Sgt. F.L. “Les” Tyler is a public information officer for the Virginia State Police.

“We were called to the scene at approximately 10:47 a.m… It involved two vehicles,” he said. “The first vehicle was a 2017 Freightliner rollback wrecker. And that vehicle had pulled over and was parked on the right shoulder of I-66. The second vehicle, a 1999 Chevrolet blazer, ran off the right side of the roadway and ran into the back of the wrecker. The driver of the blazer died at the scene as a result of injuries.”

Brian Lichty is a battalion chief for Fauquier County Fire and Rescue, which also responded to the call. He explained a peculiar wrinkle to the incident.

“The complication that we had was that he had snakes in the back; some copperheads,” Lichty said.  “I know that they were in a clear tote and the tote was damaged and we weren’t sure if there were any that got loose.”

Tyler was able to confirm the fact that snakes were on board at the time of the collision.

“The gentleman was transporting some exotic snakes and Fauquier animal control was on the scene, came out to the scene, and they also contacted other personnel that deal with reptiles that came out and assisted with that,” he said. “They were able to get some experts out there.”

Those experts came in the form of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Warren County Animal Control, both of whom assisted Fauquier County Animal Control. The snakes were taken to the Luray Zoo. At this time, it’s unknown if any of the snakes got loose after the collision.

K.J. Orr is the state police’s investigating officer. Factors that may have contributed to the crash are unknown at this time. The victim’s identity has not been released until authorities are able to notify next of kin. Tyler said that the victim is an out-of-state resident.

“Virginia State Police was assisted by Warren County Sheriff’s Department, Fauquier Sheriff’s Department and Warren County Fire and Rescue units,” Tyler said.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com

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