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Tractor and Trailer Accident/Downed Utility Pole/Heavy Traffic Congestion


June 11, 2013 at 7:47 PM


A late afternoon accident on Rte. 15 that downed a utility pole and snarled traffic for several miles in both directions for an hour and a half, remains under investigation.  At 3:34 pm multiple 9-1-1 calls reporting the crash sent Sparta Police to Rte. 15 north near the intersection of Layton Lane.
Cpl. Mark Mastandrea’s initial investigation revealed the following; A 2005 Freightliner Tractor with a 52-foot-Box-Trailer registered to, Virginia Truck Center Inc., located in Roanoke Virginia was parked on the shoulder of Rte. 15 north.  The operator also of Roanoke, 57-year-old Ralph D. Biven was lost and was seeking directions.  When Biven attempted to move his truck back into traffic the right top of the Box-Trailer struck a utility pole snapping it in half and dropping power lines across both the north and southbound lanes of travel.
Both lanes of Rte 15 were closed for approximately one and half hours while repair crews moved the wires and pole from the roadway.  Traffic was detoured down Layton Lane.  Crews are still on scene replacing the utility pole.  Motorists are urged to drive cautiously through this area for the next several hours while repairs are being made.  Traffic delays in both directions are lengthy.
Biven was uninjured in the accident and his truck had only minor damage.  Biven was allowed to continue on after the highway was reopened.  Sgt. Jeffrey Mase, Corporal William Moye and David Pridham assisted at the scene.