Galax woman killed in I-77 crash

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By Staff Reports

A 59-year-old Galax woman died Wednesday in a traffic accident on Interstate 77 in Bland County.

According to Virginia State Police, Patricia Ann Austin (who also went by the last name Blankenship) of Tower Road in the city was killed when her vehicle was struck by a tractor-trailer.

Austin was driving north on I-77 around 5 p.m. near mile marker 64 when she lost control of her vehicle and ran off the side of the road, police said. She swerved back into traffic and was hit by the tractor-trailer.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured.

The accident shut down the northbound lane of 77 in Bland County for about three hours.