NY Man Dies in I-81 Crash

By: WHSV News Staff Email
By: WHSV News Staff Email

AUGUSTA CO. -- A New York man was killed and two other men were injured in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 81 Thursday night.

At about 10:40 p.m. Thursday, a 1994 Dodge pickup truck traveling north on I-81 ran off the left side of the road and overturned in the median at the 234 mile marker. The driver, Samuel J. Russo Jr., 46, of Harrisonburg, ran away before troopers arrived. Further investigation and with the help of Harrisonburg police, Russo was located early Friday morning in the city. Russo is now charged with reckless driving, with additional charges still pending.

Moments after the pickup truck crashed, a northbound Ford Expedition swerved to avoid the pickup causing the driver to lose control. The Expedition spun sideways in the northbound lanes and was struck by a northbound tractor-trailer.

The driver of the Expedition, Daniel R. Manso Jr., 51, of Bronx, N.Y., died at the scene. The passenger, an adult male from West Virginia, was transported to UVA Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Geronimo P. Manning, 34, of North Carolina, suffered minor injuries in the crash. He was transported to Augusta Health for treatment.

At this time, both crashes remain under investigation.

Northbound lanes of I-81 were re-opened by 6:30 a.m. Friday.

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