Officials: Tractor-trailer crashes into business, kills one

    (Dakota Rogers/WSET)

    BEDFORD Co., Va. (WSET) - State Police and fire crews from seven departments are at the scene of a tractor-trailer accident that has left one person dead and closed Route 122 in Bedford County. According to VDOT, the crash happened at the intersection of Route 122 and Route 654 around 5:00 Thursday morning.

    Officials believe the tractor-trailer was traveling south when it ran off the road and into Smith Mountain Lake Good Neighbors, Inc. According to the business's Facebook page, no one was in the building when the crash happened.

    Fire officials say the truck and the business caught on fire immediately after the crash.

    After stabilizing the building a search and rescue crew was sent in and found a body believed to be the driver. The identity of that person has not been determined yet.

    The front part of the tractor-trailer was found in the basement and the driver was recovered outside the truck.

    Moran Graham, who lives nearby, said the crash woke her up around 5:00 a.m. "I was a little more worried for my kids because we saw the fire and it was engulfed," she said.

    As it flamed, she was worried about the driver, but said there was nothing she could do.

    That's when she called 9-1-1.

    But, Graham said that accidents in this area are common. "They run through the yard, most of the time they go beside that house for an accident," she said.

    Jerry Raynor lives across the street and said the curve is a problem spot. "I've had a gentleman hit a pole here a couple years ago, unfortunately he didn't live through that," he said.

    Many wonder if the driver of the tractor trailer fell asleep, because there was no indication he tried to stop.

    And now, Smith Mountain Lake Good Neighbors, Inc., is at a total loss. "When we first got here and saw it I was in shock, disbelief, couldn't believe what I was seeing," said Jim Bennett the chairman of the non-profit.

    Bennett said his team has spent countless hours and money fixing up the summer-camp for underprivileged children since purchasing it two years ago. "Those are all things that we're going to have to replace," he said.

    But, he said he's just glad no one was there at the time, as there might have been during the summer.

    Bennett said the non-profit's board will meet Friday to discuss whether or not to rebuild further away from the road. He said the fire marshal declared the existing foundation unsalvageable.

    They also need to figure out how to replace the thousands of children's books and toys, most donated by the community.

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