The crash occurred after the driver of a southbound 2015 Acura RDX lost control of the vehicle causing it to hit the left guardrail. The Acura smashed into a 1999 Ford Explorer which was traveling in the same direction. The two SUVs then crashed into the right guardrails and a passenger from the back-seat of the Explorer was thrown from the vehicle.
As the vehicles went back into the lanes, the Explorer flipped and another passenger from the back of the Explorer was ejected.
The Acura hit an embankment on the right of the interstate and flipped several times before stopping in the tree line.
The occupants of the Acura, 65-year-old Ralph Bryant and 65-year-old Joan Bryant, both residents of Mississippi, were injured in the collision and taken to Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment. They were both wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash.
The driver of the Explorer, Enid Beckwith, 59, and the passenger who was riding in the front seat, Annie Beckwith, 63 were both restrained at the time of the collision. Both were also brought to Roanoke Memorial Hospital with injuries.
The two backseat passengers from the Explorer, Wanda Alexander, 58, and Emma Beckwith, 61, had not been wearing safety belts when the accident occurred. Both women died at the scene after being ejected from their vehicle.
The southbound lanes of Interstate 81 were closed for more than five hours as a result of the accident.
The collision is still being investigated and charges are pending.
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