Bedford County firefighter killed in fatal head-on crash on I-64

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) -- UPDATE:

The family of a Bedford County firefighter killed in a weekend crash has released a statement on her death.

In the statement, Bethany Franklin's family indicates that she had recently graduated top of her class with a degree in respiratory therapy and taken a position at UVA in the pediatric ICU.

Franklin's family says they were proud of the woman she became, and that she will be dearly missed.

You can read her family's full statement below:


Bethany was a beautiful young lady who cared for so many. She was a dedicated paramedic, firefighter, respiratory therapist, daughter and friend.

She was always working to improve herself, recently graduated top of her class with a degree in respiratory therapy and taken a position at UVA in the pediatric ICU.

She was a devoted aunt to her nieces and nephew, spending as much time with them as possible.

We could not be more proud of the young woman she became, and she will be dearly missed by her family and community.

ORIGINAL STORY:
Police are investigating a fatal crash that happened Sunday, July 16 at around 6 a.m. in Albemarle County.

The Virginia State Police were notified of a head-on collision in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 64 at MM 114.

A green Isuzu pickup truck was traveling the wrong way in the eastbound lane when it struck a Hyundai Sedan head-on.

The impact of that crash caused the vehicles to strike an eastbound Ford F-150 utility pickup truck.

The driver of the Hyundai was 30-year-old Bethany M. Franklin of Troutville, Va. She died at the scene. Police say she was wearing a seat-belt.

In recent years Franklin was a full-time firefighter and paramedic for Bedford County Fire & Rescue, stationed at the Moneta Volunteer Fire Department. She cut her service back to part-time when she started taking classes at the Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke more than a year ago.

The driver of the F150 pickup was transported to UVA Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The man's name is unknown at this time.

Before the crash, police were notified of a green pickup truck driving recklessly in the westbound lanes of I-64.

Minutes later, a second report was called in about the same truck in the Emergency Vehicle Crossover on the I-64 median. As police were driving to the scene, the pickup drove through the crossover and began driving the wrong way in the eastbound lanes when he hit the Hyundai head-on.

The driver of the Isuzu was 32-year-old Winston J. Smith II of Staunton, Va. He died at the scene. Police say he was wearing a seat-belt.

The crash remains under investigation at this time.