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Trailer Carrying 20 Tons of Soy Milk Overturns, Injures 2

A tractor-trailer hauling 20 tons of soy milk overturned Wednesday in Alleghany County, injuring two people and closing a portion of Interstate 64 for hours.

Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. Robert Carpentieri said Richard Thomas Burket, 49, of Star Valley, Ariz., was westbound on I-64 near mile marker 40.5 about 11:45 a.m. when he ran off the right side of the road and overturned his 2012 Volvo truck and trailer on their right side.

Burket was taken by ambulance to LewisGale Hospital Alleghany with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, Carpentieri said.

Hospital spokeswoman Nancy May said Burket was treated and released.

His passenger, Christina Dawn Wheeler, 41, of Indiana, had to be extricated from the cab and was flown to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Carpentieri said. Hospital spokesman Eric Earnhart said he had no information on Wheeler’s condition Wednesday night.

Neither Burket nor Wheeler was wearing a seat belt, Carpentieri said. Burket told the investigating trooper that he was having stomach pains and was trying to pull off the interstate when he wrecked.

Carpentieri said Burket was hauling 40,000 pounds of soy milk for Navajo Express Inc. of Oklahoma. The truck’s cab was a total loss.

Both westbound lanes of I-64 were shut down for about 45 minutes while a medical helicopter landed on the highway. The right lane was closed for more than seven hours while crews retrieved the soy milk and cleared the wreck. The road was finally reopened shortly after 7:30 p.m.

Burket was charged with failure to maintain control of his vehicle, Carpentieri said.