Troopers struck, Annandale man uninjured in I-81 accident

police car photo
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Two Virginia State Police troopers were injured in a multi-vehicle accident on I-81 in Rockingham County Friday afternoon. An Annandale man and two other drivers escaped injury.

The accident occurred about 2:35 p.m. as a car was pulled over by a VSP trooper on suspicion of speeding and driving while impaired.

During the course of the traffic stop, a 2005 Saturn traveling north on I-81 in the left lane lost control and spun around in the travel lanes. A northbound 2001 Honda Accord, trying to avoid the Saturn, ran off the right side of the highway and struck the state trooper’s car and the vehicle stopped on the shoulder.

The crash injured two troopers involved in the traffic stop. Trooper G.E. Peele was taken to Rockingham Memorial Hospital and then to UVA Medical Center where he is still being treated for serious, but non-life threatening, injuries. Sgt. S.D. McCurry was taken to Rockingham Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The driver of the Saturn, Nicole T. Rudzik, 26, of Harrisonburg, was not injured. Rudzik was charged with Reckless Driving. The driver of the Honda, Patrick A. Fruchterman, 21, of Annandale, was not injured.

The driver of the vehicle originally stopped on I-81 by state police was not injured. But William D. Blackwell, 45, of Timberville, Va., was charged with speeding and arrested for DUI.

The incident remains under investigation.