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MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Riner volunteer firefighters assist the driver of a multi-passenger van that crashed on Route 8 near Carysbrook Road in Montgomery County Tuesday afternoon.
Melissa Powell | The Roanoke Times
A van ran off Virginia 8 near Riner and struck a tree this afternoon, sending its six passengers to the hospital.
Paul Normand Fontaine
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
The driver of a senior services van was charged with DUI Tuesday after the vehicle struck a tree on Virginia 8 near Riner, police said. Six passengers were sent to the hospital.
Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Capt. Brian Wright said the call about the wreck, which occurred near the intersection with Camp Carysbrook Road, came in at 3:22 p.m.
Six passengers were on the New River Valley Senior Services van, and all were taken to Carilion New River Valley Medical Center near Radford to be checked out, Wright said.
Riner Volunteer Rescue Squad Lt. Jessica Roop said the passengers had injuries that didn't appear to be life-threatening.
The van's driver, Paul Normand Fontaine, remained at the scene and was given a field sobriety test after deputies determined alcohol may have been a factor in the wreck, Sheriff's Lt. T.D. Shepherd said in a news release. Fontaine, 65, was then arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
A Breathalyzer test at the county magistrate's office confirmed Fontaine's blood alcohol content was "higher than the legal limit for the state of Virginia," Shepherd said. The lieutenant could not be reached for further comment.
The van had been traveling toward Floyd, Wright said.
New River Valley Senior Services, which is based in Pulaski, provides transportation and nutritional services to area seniors.
According to its website, the nonprofit organization operates 35 vehicles, including 13-passenger vans, minivans and lift-supported vehicles for disabled individuals.
Representatives from New River Valley Senior Services could not be immediately reached Tuesday afternoon.
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