Virginia State Police are looking for a pickup truck belonging to a Max Meadows man charged with striking several motorcycles on Interstate 77 Sunday and then fleeing the scene.
George E. Sparkman, 55, of the 300 block of Alleghany Road in Max Meadows, was arrested around 10:30 p.m. Sunday at an Exit 41 truck stop. However, authorities have yet to locate the truck involved in the hit-and-run.
The vehicle is described as a black 1999 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck, with probable damage to its front and sides.
According to State Police, eight motorcycles were traveling together in the left northbound lane when the pickup truck continually swerved into their lane, striking six of the motorcycles before fleeing the scene.
Police said Sparkman was taken into custody without incident. He is charged with three counts of malicious wounding, four counts of attempted malicious wounding, one count of hit-and-run and one count of reckless driving. Alcohol was a factor in the incident, authorities allege.
The wreck occurred just after 6 p.m. Sunday in the northbound lanes of I-77, just south of Exit 47 and near the border of Wythe and Bland counties.
The seven motorcycle riders and passengers injured were identified as Jack Luikart and Steven and Lisa Pete, all of Hurricane, W.Va.; Shannon Morris of Dixie, W.Va.; Jess McMullan and Chris Young, both of Fayetteville, W.Va.; and Tillman N. Mooney of Lookout, W.Va.
Mooney was airlifted to Johnson City, Tenn. Medical Center, but the rest were transported by ambulance to Wythe County Community Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
State Police and sheriff’s officers from Wythe and Bland counties immediately began a search for the suspect based on a description and license plate number provided by witnesses.
Sparkman was arrested after police received a report of a suspicious person at a truck stop and discovered her was the person being sought in the hit-and-run.
The investigation continues.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the pickup truck or other information about Sunday night’s incident on I-77 is asked to contact the Wytheville Division of Virginia State Police at (276) 228-3131 or email the Wythe Area Office at Area26@vsp.virginia.gov.