Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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February 18, 2014

One dead after tractor trailer catches fire, crashes over an embankment

GRUNDY, Va. — A truck driver who died this morning in a tractor-trailer crash in Buchanan County, Va. has been identified by the Virginia State Police.

Dennis D. Mills, 59, of Cedar Bluff, Va. was driving a tractor-trailer downhill on Route 680, according to Trooper C.J. Burkes of the Virginia State Police.

A witness observed the vehicle’s brakes smoking heavily. As the vehicle rounded a curve at the bottom of the hill, it struck a utility pole, a road sign, a railroad bridge and then began to overturn, Burkes said.

The vehicle went down an embankment and came to rest upside down in Dismal Creek. Mills was partially ejected and died at the scene, Burkes stated. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The tractor-trailer had a full load of rock dust. Further investigation by the trooper and the Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Safety Team determined that the tractor-trailer had caught fire underneath moments before the crash, he said.

 

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