State Police ID driver killed in crash involving 2 tractor-trailers on I-64

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State Police has identified the Richmond man who was killed in a crash involving two tractor-trailers on I-64 in Henrico County last week.

The crash occurred at 12:30 p.m. on I-64 East, near the I-295 interchange.

According to Virginia State Police, 63-year-old Nathaniel S. Smith was driving a 2001 Volvo tractor that was hauling an empty trailer in the right lane and attempted to change into the center lane, but locked his brakes in attempt to avoid hitting another vehicle that was slowing in front of him. That’s when the other tractor-trailer, a 2018 Freightliner that was hauling 14,000 pounds of air conditioning parts, veered to the left, striking Smith’s tractor.

The driver who was operating the 2018 Freighliner, Burkhon Yusupov, told 8News it’s a miracle he was able to walk away from the deadly crash and see his one-month-old again. 

Yusupov was driving in the center lane, with another truck in the right lane, when he says the other truck was trying to pass him. That’s when the car in front of him hit the breaks, causing the other truck to shift directions. Yusupov says that’s when the tractor-trailer jackknifed in front of him and hit the bridge.

“It was blank,” Yusupov said when asked what was going through his mind. “I just open my eyes and just saw that my windshield was pretty much over my head and just hoping that I could open my eyes again and just was…I don’t know, blanked out.”

Virginia State Police issued a statement Wednesday evening that corroborates Yusupov’s account of the incident.

Police added that Smith was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash. Police said he had to be extricated from the vehicle. 

PHOTOS: Tractor-trailer crash at I-64/I-295 interchange

Henrico P.D., Henrico Fire and EMS, and VDOT assisted at the scene of the crash.  

The crash remains under investigation with the assistance of the Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Safety Team. There have been no charges placed at this time.  

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