Deputies: Pedestrian had narrow escape on I-81

WOODSTOCK – A West Virginia woman escaped injury but was charged with being drunk in public and walking on a controlled access highway after Shenandoah County sheriff’s deputies investigated a report of a pedestrian hit by a vehicle Wednesday night on Interstate 81 near Strasburg.

Authorities said the defendant, Teresa Lynn Yates, 47, was sitting beside the road by the time they arrived around the Strasburg exit at mile marker 296. Authorities said Yates was uninjured and refused medical treatment, but she narrowly missed being run over by a tractor-trailer as she was walking south in the northbound lane.

“Deputies found a female identified as Ms. Yates who had been a pedestrian on the interstate and entered the flow of traffic in the traffic lane and was more or less sideswiped by a tractor-trailer, contact being made with her upper arm and shoulder,” Dellinger said.

A criminal complaint filed in Shenandoah County Circuit Court describes Yates as having “slurred speech with glassy, bloodshot eyes.”

Dellinger said Yates told deputies that she had been hitchhiking to get home.

“We determined during the course of the investigation that she appeared to be intoxicated,” Dellinger said.

Dellinger estimated the right lane of northbound I-81 was closed for about a half hour during the investigation. Strasburg police assisted with the call.

Yates was taken to Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail and later issued citations for being drunk in public and walking on a controlled access highway. The citations order her to appear in Shenandoah County General District Court at 2 p.m. Oct. 28.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com