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Driver identified in deadly tanker-trailer crash on I-77 in Bland County

Neesey Payne/WDBJ7
Neesey Payne/WDBJ7(WDBJ)
Published: Aug. 17, 2016 at 5:49 AM EDT
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UPDATE: State police have identified the driver who was killed in a tanker-trailer crash on I-77 Wednesday morning.

Reginald C. Tye, 51, of Racine, Wisconsin died at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the truck.

The passenger was taken to Wythe County Community Hospital for serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

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Virginia State Police are investigating a deadly accident that happened on I-77 in Bland County.

A tanker-trailer loaded with cooking oil was traveling south on I-77 when it ran off the road, hit a bridge and overturned. It then caught fire.

The driver died in the crash. There was also a co-driver in the tanker-trailer. He was hurt and has been taken to a hospital in Wytheville.

No other vehicles were involved.

Investigators say the cooking oil did not cause the fire.

State police will not release the name of the driver until family has been notified.

The crash continues to cause issues on I-77 South, where traffic is backed up. The southbound left lane is closed at mile marker 51, which is close to the Route 42 exit. Traffic backups are about 5 miles long.

Another tanker is coming to remove the cooking oil.

State police are investigating what caused the driver to overturn.

ORIGINAL STORY

A tractor-trailer wreck is causing major problems on I-77 in Bland County on Wednesday morning.

All southbound lanes are closed at mile marker 51, which is close to the Bland County Route 42 exit. I-77 North has re-opened, but was blocked for a time.

State police responded to the accident at 5:18 a.m.

Traffic is being diverted off Exit 52 onto Route 52 South and back onto I-77 South at Exit 47.

Avoid the area.