Virginia State Police have released the name of the third man killed in a fiery accident Wednesday on Interstate 81 in Smyth County.
27-yearold Kenterrious Christian of Taylor, S.C., was killed after his parked cushion truck was slammed into.
A tanker truck driver, 48-year-old Frank Skeens of Castlewood, and a pick-up truck driver, 30-year-old Trevor Blankenship of Lebanon, were also killed.
All three vehicles caught on fire. The accident happened at mile marker 54 on I-81 South around 3:25 p.m. Wednesday.
I-81 South in the area is down to one lane Thursday while crews repair the pavement.
Drivers on Interstate 81 in Smyth County could encounter delays today and possibly Friday. Crews are working to repair damage from Wednesday's fiery crash that killed three people near Exit 54.
Here is the complete announcement from VDOT:
BRISTOL – Motorists should be alert to the possibility of delays on Interstate 81 southbound near exit 54 in Smyth County today to due milling and paving operations following yesterday’s accident.
Milling and paving of the left lane was completed last night, and workers are moving the lane closure to the right lanes this morning.
Once the milling and paving is complete today, be alert to striping operations and guardrail work. Fuel clean-up work will also be underway today into tomorrow. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) anticipates the possibility of a shoulder closure southbound tomorrow (Friday, October 4) should fuel clean-up or guardrail work not be completed today.
Motorists should use caution in this area, slow down and heed warning and lowered speed limit signs through the work zone.
Three man are dead after a fiery crash on Interstate 81 in Smyth County Wednesday.
According to a news release, the wreck took place around 3:27 p.m. in the southbound lanes of Interstate 81 at mile marker 54.
A Chevrolet pickup truck and a GMC highway crash cushion truck were headed southbound on Interstate 81. The pickup truck was on the right shoulder conducting a roadway inspection, while the crash cushion truck was in the right lane.
Witnesses say a tanker truck was traveling south in the left lane when it swerved, then over-corrected, causing the load to shift and overturn on its side across both southbound lanes.
The tanker truck was loaded with 8,500 gallons of gasoline.
The tanker truck slid into the pickup truck, exploded, then collided with the crash cushion truck. All three vehicles caught fire.
The tanker truck driver, Frank Skeens, Jr., 48, of Castlewood, died at the scene.
The pickup truck driver, Trevor Blankenship, 30, of Lebanon, also died at the scene.
The man driving the crash cushion truck died on the way to the hospital. His identity has not been released as state police are still in the process of notifying his next of kin.
The southbound lanes of Interstate 81 are still closed as of 10:18 p.m.
According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, traffic backups are approximately 4 miles.
VDOT is assessing the condition of the pavement due to the intensity of the explosion and fire.