Update: Crews Recover Body, Pickup Truck from Blue Ridge Parkway Ravine

Crews pulling pickup truck out of ravine around 5:00 p.m. Friday

Update: 11:28 p.m.

Reporter: Mark Kelly l Videographer: Sally Delta

Bedford Co., VA - The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic but tricky road to drive, with drop-offs that go thousands of feet down. Friday, rescue crews found a truck 135 feet down one of the cliffs in Bedford County, stopped only by a large oak tree. The driver was dead when crews got there.

Still a lot of unanswered questions here. Crews got the 911 call at 1:40 p.m. Friday, but when the crash happened and how long the truck was there are not known at this point.

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway can be dicey.

"Collisions are fairly common on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's a dangerous road," said Miranda Cook, National Park Service.

Cook says motorcycles going over the side is common. But, a Ford Ranger Pick-up? That's unique. Montvale Volunteer Firefighter Scott Hawkins agrees that this cliff crash is different in more ways than one.

"Like I said, I'm not sure exactly what happened here. It's definitely not in a sharp turn, it's not where a lot of accidents occur," said Hawkins.

The road is even buffered by a parking lot to overlook the mountains. Hawkins was the first rescuer on scene, but not the first person.

"When I arrived there was a family member that waved me down, there was a family member here," said Hawkins.

Hawkins says that family member was the deceased's brother. He'd been looking for his brother and his truck. If not for the brother, it would be difficult, Hawkins says, to even spot the truck down the cliff.

"But any obvious marks in the parking lot, there were none to indicate there was an accident here," said Hawkins.

Rescue Crews scaled the cliff all afternoon - first bringing the body up and then hauling the truck. Crews say scenes like this are never easy to bare. But, some drivers haven't had the same fate.

"Well, we've had several wrecks up here with this same terrain and people have survived it," said Hawkins.

The crash is under investigation and the driver's identity has not been released. Park Services says they don't have any witnesses. But, they'll be diagramming the scene over the next few days.


Bedford Co., VA - Rescue crews spent the afternoon Friday on the scene of a fatal wreck on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Investigators say either Thursday night or early Friday morning, a black pickup truck went over the edge of Quarry Overlook. It happened at mile marker 101, five miles north of where the parkway hits Route 460/221. The wreck was discovered Friday afternoon.

Rescue crews were able to pull the vehicle out of the ravine by 5:00 p.m. Friday. They found a man's body inside. The accident is under investigation. We'll bring you updates as they become available.

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