Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 19, 2014

Fatal tractor-trailer crash: Tazewell County man killed; truck overturned in creek

GRUNDY, Va. — A Tazewell County resident was killed Tuesday morning when the tractor-trailer he was driving fell down an embankment and overturned in a creek.

Dennis D. Mills, 59, of Cedar Bluff, Va., was driving a tractor-trailer downhill on Route 680 when it crashed, according to Trooper C.J. Burkes of the Virginia State Police. The incident happened at approximately 8:40 a.m.

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, and 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, Corinne N. Geller, public relations director for the Virginia State Police, said.

Additional investigation by Burkes and the Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Safety Team determined that the underside of the tractor-trailer had caught fire moments before the crash, Geller said.

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