Two Die In Valley Crashes
Incidents Remain Under Investigation
Posted: March 6, 2013
HARRISONBURG — Two Shenandoah Valley residents died in separate crashes less than 24 hours apart.
The most recent wreck happened around 9 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Old Sawmill Road and North Valley Pike just north of Lacey Spring. U.S. 11 is known as North Valley Pike in that area of Rockingham County.
Violet Marie Nelson, 78, of New Market, died in the crash, according to the Virginia State Police.
Sgt. Les Tyler of the state police said a 1997 Ford pickup truck driven by Paul Michael Allebaugh, 64, of Harrisonburg, was northbound on U.S. 11 when he ran off the road to the right. He overcorrected, swerved into the southbound lane and hit a 1993 Oldsmobile passenger car head-on driven by Nelson, according to Tyler.
Nelson died at the scene, the trooper said.
Allebaugh was flown to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, where a spokeswoman said he was in good condition as of Tuesday night.
The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed as of Tuesday.
The second fatality occurred following a crash about 4:20 p.m. Monday near Luray.
Tyler said a 2005 Freightliner tractor-trailer, which was having mechanical problems, was traveling west in the right lane of U.S. 211 when a 2006 Toyota Corolla driven by Michael William Rucker, 45, of Stanley, approached from behind and struck the semi.
A third vehicle, a 1997 Dodge pickup truck driven by Vernon Lee Brown, 68, of Harrisonburg, then hit Rucker’s car from behind.
Rucker died at the scene of the crash.
Police cited the tractor-trailer driver, Nerijus Taraskevicius, 41, of Oakland Park, Ill., with improperly stopping in a highway and failing to activate hazard lights. Taraskevicius and Brown were not injured.
Tyler said the investigation is ongoing and the VSP’s crash reconstruction and motor carrier safety teams are assisting.
Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or firstname.lastname@example.org