Coming up on News Seven at Six, a fiery truck crash on I-81 ties up traffic
And investigators in Danville are still working on a case of a decomposed
body found more than a month ago.
In sports, It's Sugar Time in Blacksburg and the Miami Dolphins break a
three game losing streak with a win over the Falcons.
A sunny start to the day-- but now the sky's turning cloudy.
An approaching front may bring a few showers tonight-- then the sunshine
A fiery truck accident on Interstate 81 had emergency crews busy most of
And, to no surprise it backed up traffic for miles.
double box Ron/Len
Len Besthoff is live in our newsroom with the latest details on this.
Len, have you had a chance to discuss the accident with state police?
No Ron, we have not, but we arrived at the scene of the accident soon after
it happened, and eyewitnesses helped fill in the rest of the picture.
(Roll Cue: rest of the picture.)
IN Q=nat sound
SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00
SUPER=01-Vern Ferguson/Hollins Rescue Squad;
OUT Q=on 5-81.
SOT Scanner tape 00:19:15
IN Q=The rig
((SCANNER TRAFFIC: THE RIG IS STILL ON FIRE, IT'S GOT BOTH LANES BLOCKED HERE
AT THE END OF THE BRIDGE.))
OUT Q=of the bridge.
This is what northbound I-81 near the route 581 interchange looked like
shortly after two this afternoon.
A tractor trailer had overturned, wedged itself between the guardrails of
this bridge, and then...burst into flames.
SOT tape one
IN Q=It's about
((ED STELLING/MOTORIST: ))
OUT Q=start burning.
Ed Stelling and his wife were driving behind the truck and saw the accident.
Stelling says a flat tire probably caused the wreck.
IN Q=The back
((STELLING: THE BACK WHEEL BLOWED OFF. RIGHT AT THE CORNER OF THE BRIDGE
AREA. AND THE BACK OF REAR HIT THE BRIDGE THERE AND HE LOST IT FROM THERE.))
OUT Q=from there.
Stelling says the driver was able to walk away from the wreck, but it threw
his passenger into a ravine.
Were it not for the efforts of Barbara Stelling, that man might not have got
away from the truck before it burst into flames.
SOT tape one 14:34:21
IN Q=I ran up
((BARBARA STELLING/MOTORIST: I RAN UP THE STREET, SCREAMED FOR PEOPLE TO COME
HELP ME BECAUSE I KNEW HE WOULD BURN UP IF WE DIDN'T GET HIM OUTTA THERE, SO WE
GOT HIM UP ON THE SIDE AND COVERED HIM UP, KEEP HIM FROM GOING INTO SHOCK UNITL
THE PARAMEDICS GOT HERE TO HIM.))
OUT Q=here to him.
IN Q=One of
((One of the biggest challenges was getting the medical helicopter back over to
the highway, because there was a lot going on here in addition to the rescue
effort...the truck was still on fire.))
OUT Q=still on fire.
SOT scanner 00:06:50 cover...
IN Q=Smoke in
((SCANNER TRAFFIC: SMOKE IN SIGHT...DO YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION AS FOR THE
OUT Q=landing zone?
But finally after one aborted effort, the helicopter did land, and the
dramatic rescue was completed.
SOT tape one 14:56:36
IN Q=Well it was
((VERN FERGUSON/HOLLINS RESCUE SQUAD: WELL IT WAS DIFFICULT IN JUST TRYING TO
FIND A PLACE TO LAND BECAUSE COULDN'T TELL WITH THE WIND, THE SMOKE COMIN' OFF
THE WRECK, BURNING IN THE TREES, AND WE HAD TOO MANY UNITS ON THIS BRIDGE.
IT'S NOT A VERY LONG BRIDGE AND THAT MADE IT VERY DIFFICULT.))
OUT Q=very difficult.
Things got a little easier from there...fire crews got to finally put out
the fiery wreck, and state police began working on re-routing traffic.
SOT 00:20:13 scanner
IN Q=Gonna have
((SCANNER TRAFFIC: GONNA HAVE TO RE-ROUTE THIS TRAFFIC SOUTHBOUND ON 581.))
OUT Q=on 581.
Ron, eyewitnesses tell us the man who was airlifted to the hospital had a
bad leg injury, but that's all we know right now.
double box Ron/Len
(Question: So is the northbound lane of I-81 open yet?)
The Montgomery County Sheriffs Department reports that one of its deputies
suffered a accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The shooting occurred around 2-30 this afternoon at the county jail.
The department has not released the name of the deputy until they notify the
The deputy is hospitalized at Montgomery Regional Hospital.
However, authorities say the injury is not serious and the deputy should be
going home soon.
In Danville investigators are still working on the case of a young woman
whose decomposed body was discovered more than a month ago.
At the same time, police say they are not optimistic about figuring out how
26- year old Robyn Annette Gatewood died.
Teresa Hamilton reports.
IN Q=Robyn Gatewood's body
SUPER=01-Neal Morris/Danville Police Chief; :13
SUPER=01-Ann Gatewood/Robyn's Grandmother; 1:01
OUT Q= Hamilton, News 7, Danville.
((Robyn Gatewood's body was discovered October 28th, behind Motley's
Police say there did not appear to be any attempt to hide the body, a few
leaves were all that covered her remains.
((NEAL MORRIS/DANVILLE POLICE CHIEF: WE'RE UNDETERMINED AT THIS TIME AS TO
CAUSE OF DEATH, BUT I WILL SAY THERE DOESN'T SEEM TO BE ANY TYPE OF WOUND OR
THERE AREN'T ANY TYPE OF WOUNDS, GUNSHOTS OR FROM BLOWS OR ANY KNIFE WOUNDS. ))
OUT Q=knife wounds.
An Assistant State Medical Examiner did detect drugs in Gatewood's system.
So without evidence of foul play, Morris says it's possible Robyn Gatewood
died from a drug overdose.
According to Morris, no one around Danville had seen Robyn Gatewood for more
than a year.
Yet, police say no family members had filed a missing persons report.
Gatewood's maternal grandmother says Robyn had a long history of drug abuse.
As for her disappearance, Ann Gatewood says it wasn't unusual for her
granddaughter to be gone for months at a time.
IN Q=What kind
((REPORTER SPEAKS: WHAT KIND OF PERSON WAS ROBYN?
ANN GATEWOOD/ROBYN'S GRANDMOTHER: OH, SHE JUST A GOOD TIME GIRL, SHE JUST
WANTED TO GO AROUND HERE AND YOU KNOW MEET UP WITH FRIENDS, GOT IN THE BAD
OUT Q=got in the bad crowd.
Robyn Gatewood now rests in a family cemetary just outside Danville.
She left behind four children-- who, like authorities, will probably never
know how their mother died. Teresa Hamilton, News 7, Danville.))
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Coming up on News 7,
Good employment numbers have come in for the Roanoke Valley,
And a national railroad union has reached a tentative agreement with 35
railroads, including Norfolk Southern.
wx ad lib
More bonus weather as the warming trend continues.
But a cold front pushing into the Ohio Valley is causing the clouds to roll
We may also see some widely scattered showers tonight as the front crosses
But high pressure will come back tomorrow-- along with the sunshine.
All the details-- plus the five- day forecast-- on the way.
The nation's largest railroad union has reached a tentative agreement with
35 railroads, including Norfolk Southern.
The deal comes after more than a year of talks.
The agreement resolves issues including wages, benefits, and work rules.
If approved, it will cover a five-year period.
The person in charge of the railroad's bargaining team says this shows it's
possible for both sides to sit down and bargain in good faith.
The U-T-U represents more than 80-thousand transportation workers.
A survey has mixed signals about the future business climate in our area,
and more growth for downtown Roanoke.
Len Besthoff recaps the week's top economic stories in southwest and central
Virginia with the News-7 Business Review.
IN Q=NAT SOT
SUPER=03-Montgomery Co./Monday; :36 (QUICK!)
SUPER=03-Roanoke/Wednesday; :50 (QUICK!)
OUT Q=NAT SOT
A major tobacco company that operates a storage facility in Danville wants
to acquire the rights to several name brand cigarettes.
Lorillard Tobacco has entered into a contract with Brown and Williamson to
acquire trademarks to Montclair, Riviera, Malibu and Crowns cigarettes.
The latest survey by Manpower says in the first three months of next year,
10-percent of Roanoke area employers plan to add workers, and 13-PERCENT plan
to cut back.
In greater Lynchburg, 16 percent plan to hire, and six-percent want to trim
Montgomery County supervisors have decided to reconsider a vote that blocked
the Smart Road project, a big economic initiative there.
And the routing of the proposed interstate 73 through our area was part of
the highway legislation signed by President Clinton this week.
Roanoke's retail district got some good news Wednesday.
A longtime shopkeeper will expand and move into the old Woolworth's
building, and a bagel store will open on the market next spring.
Workers at a Salem truck parts plant have decided against union
The United Auto Workers lost a vote at Mascotech by a 66-to-54 margin.
The number of passengers using the Roanoke and Lynchburg airports rose in
October compared to the previous month.
But for the year, Roanoke's passenger traffic is down 13-percent, and
Lynchburg's has dropped about six-percent.
And eight months after reopening, the Hotel Roanoke has received a four
diamond rating from triple-A of Virginia.
Checking the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the week, it rose 38-points,
closing at 5087.13.
Len Besthoff, with the News-7 Business Review.
Virginia continues to have steady job growth.
And the Roanoke Valley is leading the way.
The Virginia Employment Commission says for the second straight month, the
Roanoke area recorded the best annual job growth in the state.
It was up 3 POINT 6 percent in September.
The trade and service industries did the most hiring.
Greater Lynchburg's workforce grew by 3 point 1 percent.
It added jobs in education.
Danville is the state's only metro area that LOST jobs in September.
The V-E-C says cutbacks in manufacturing helped pull it's growth rate DOWN 1
point 8 percent.
MUSIC ON TAPE
And still to come on News 7,
Blacksburg's Electronic Village got a new "subdivision."
The new internet access service officially opened on Friday.
MUSIC UP FULL
A new company is opening worldwide lines of communication for Blacksburg
N-R-V Net started up its Internet access service a month ago, and officially
celebrated its opening Friday.
The Blacksburg Electronic Village attracted the company to its location.
((TED HUDSON/NRV NET VICE-PRESIDENT: THEY HAVE PROVIDED INTERNET ACCESS FOR
YEARS, AND LOOKED LIKE THEY WERE GETTING TO THE POINT WHERE THEY NEEDED AN
OUTSIDE, PRIVATELY- OWNED BUSINESS TO TAKE OVER SOME OF THEIR CUSTOMER LOAD. ))
((RON SECRIST/BLACKSBURG TOWN MANAGER: WELL ONE OF THE ASPECTS WHEN WE
ORIGINALLY BEGAN THE BLACKSBURG ELECTRONIC VILLAGE WAS HOPING TO CREATE NEW
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN THE COMMUNITY. AND SO NRV NET IS ONE OF THOSE
OBJECTIVES COMING TRUE.))
SUPER=01-Ted Hudson/NRV Net Vice-President; :00
SUPER=01-Ron Secrist/Blacksburg Town Manager; :12
OUT Q=objectives coming true.
N-R-V Net charges 15 dollars a month for unlimited Internet access.
It plans to expand into Roanoke and throughout the New River Valley.
Eventually, the company hopes to offer other services, such as video
Danville's new Science Center is just about finished.
The city's train station was renovated to house the Center.
So far, it's about 90- percent complete.
All of the exhibits are "hands on."
The Center's director encourages children and their parents to get involved.
IN Q=For example,
((GINNY LAUBINGER/DANVILLE SCIENCE CENTER, DIR.: FOR EXAMPLE, THERE'S AN
EXHIBIT CALLED "BERNOULLI'S BLOWER", AND THERE'S AIR THAT HOLDS THE BALL IN
PLACE AND YOU WONDER WHY DOES IT WORK THAT WAY? WELL THAT SAME CONCEPT IS THE
CONCEPT WHEN YOU FLY IN AN AIRPLANE, THAT LIFT YOU GET FROM THE AIR MOVING
AROUND THE WING, IS THE LIFT YOU GET WITH THE AIR MOVING AROUND THE BALL. THOSE
TYPE OF CONCEPTS ARE REALLY IMPORTANT THEY'RE SOMETHING THAT CHILDREN WILL READ
ABOUT, LEARN ABOUT, PLAY WITH AND WILL CARRY BACK TO THEIR CLASSROOM WITH THEM.
SUPER=01-Ginny Laubinger/Danville Science Center Dir.; :11
OUT Q=classroom with them.
The Center will open next Saturday.
Admission is four- dollars for adults, three- dollars for students.
Children three and under are free.
And coming up,
The Miami Dolphins break a three game losing streak and Brett Favre leads
the Green Bay Packers to another big win.
GRAPHIC=Tech Sugar Bowl
How Sweet it is.
For the first time in school history Virginia Tech is headed to the Sugar
The official announcement came earlier this evening right here on your
Dble box Roy/Mike
And Mike Stevens is standing by at the Tech Football office with some more
(Roll Cue: )
SUPER=01-Cornell Brown/Big East Player of The Year; :
SUPER=01-Brandon Semones/Second Team All Big East; :
Dbl Box Roy/Mike
Dan Marino threw a touchdown pass to Irvin Fryer with 10 seconds left in
the game as Miami broke a three game losing streak beating Atlanta 21 to 20.
SUPER=03-Miami, FL/FOX SPORTS; :
The Falcons took the early lead when Quarterback Jeff George hooks up with
Bert Emanuel on this 2 yard touchdown pass to make it 7 to 3.
Then later in the second quarter Eric Metcalf takes the handoff from
George and takes it into the end zone from 23 yards out and the Colts led 14 to
But Marino rallied the Dolphins in SUPER=36-Miami/=21/Atlanta/=20;the
fourth quarter scoring two touchdowns in the last 8 minutes and Miami beats
Atlanta 21 to 20.
The Green Bay Packers remained on top in their division of the N-F-C by
beating Cincinnati this afternoon 24 to 10.
SUPER=03-Green Bay, WI/NBC SPORTS; :
A warm day as the tempeture hit the high 40's at Lambeau Field this
Cincinnati took the early lead when Jeff Blake hits Carl Pickens on the 5
yard touchdown pass to make it 10 to 3 Bengals.
But Brett Favre rallied the Packers. Here he hits Mark Ingram over the
middle on the 13-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 10 to 10 at the half.
Then in the fourth quarter he SUPER=36-Green
Bay/=24/Cincinnati/=10;throws the screen pass to Edgar Bennett he scores from
15 yards out and the Packers beat the Bengals 24 to 10.
The Panthers beat the colts Pittsburgh downs houston and the Saints over
For those and all of today's scores lets check the boards.
IN Q=FIRST SCORE
OUT Q=......BUFFALO/SAN FRANCISCO."
19-th Ranked Maryland was out to up its record to 500 taking on George
Washington this afternoon at the U-S Air Arena.
SUPER=03-Landover, MD/HOME TEAM SPORTS; :
The big men were showcased to open the second half of the Game George
Washington's Alexander Koul scoring inside and drawing the foul.
The Terps come right back going inside to Adam Ekezie who gets the easy
basket giving Maryland a 71 to 46 lead.
George Washington freshman J.J. Brade led an 8 to nothing run but G-W
still trailed by 17 halfway through the second half.
Maryland's Johnny Rhodes sealed the SUPER=33-Maryland/=98/G.
Washington/=81;win for the Terps here he takes the pass and scores inside as
Maryland beats George Washington 98 to 81.
TAPE# WX TAPE #3
The first few days of December have been quite pleasant-- with warmer than
Here's a glimpse of what to expect from the month ahead-- as we take a look
at the December almanac.
IN Q=Music up...