UPDATED 3:40 PM – State Police have identified the two Staunton River High School students killed this morning when a pickup truck broadsided their car on State Route 24 in Bedford County. Here is the full news release:
The Virginia State Police are continuing their investigation into a motor vehicle crash that claimed two lives on Wednesday morning around 8:30 am on Route 24 at intersection of Route 653 in Bedford County. The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2000 Ford Mustang was traveling on Route 653 when the driver attempted to make a left turn onto Route 24 when he pulled out into the path of a 2000 Ford F-250 pick up truck that was traveling westbound on Route 24. The driver of the mustang Jacob Henry Baird, age 17, of Thaxton, Virginia was wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash but was pronounced dead at the scene. Katie Thurston, age 16, of Vinton, Va. a rear seat passenger in the mustang was not wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash and she was also pronounced dead at the scene. Two other passengers in the mustang Shawn Hall, age 19, of Vinton, Va and Gradon Lewis Graybill, age 18, of Blue Ridge, Va. both were transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital. It is unknown at this time if they were wearing safety belts prior to the crash. The driver of the F-250 pick up truck William Orr, age 49, of Vinton, Va. was wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash. He was treated at the scene for minor injuries. The Virginia State Police accident reconstruction team is also assiting in the crash investigation.