Three Northern Va. residents killed, one injured in deadly I-81 crash

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJLA) - Three residents of the local area were killed and one was seriously injured in a freeway crash in Washington County Tuesday evening.

According to Virginia State police, Abenezer D. Thewdros, 19, and Abel N. Avele, 19, both of Arlington, and Alemu S. Ameha, 25, of Alexandria, were killed when a Toyota Avalon ran off the side of the I-81 freeway near the 34-mile marker and slammed into a tractor-trailer parked on the side of the road.

State police were called to the scene of the accident at 6:22 p.m. Tuesday.

Trooper R.W. Addison said a tractor-trailer traveling south on I-81 experienced a flat tire, and pulled off to the side of the road to inspect the tire.

As the tractor-trailer's driver and passenger were walking back to the cab of the truck to inspect the tire, a Toyota Avalon ran off the left side of I-81.

Addison then said the Toyota's driver overcorrected to the right, causing the car to slide sideways and slam into the rear of the tractor-trailer.

The driver, Thewdros and his two passengers Avele and Ameha died at the scene. Another passenger, Arketsadik Yilma, 19, of Alexandria, was seriously injured and and was flown in a State Police Med-Flight helicopter to Bristol Regional Medical Center.

Neither the tractor-trailer driver nor his passenger were injured.

The crash remains under investigation, but State police said alcohol does not appear to have been a factor.

Southbound lanes on I-81 were re-opened to traffic at approximately 9:30 p.m.

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