Chain-Reaction Accident on I-64 in York County Injures 51 Motorists
Fog and icy conditions cause multi-vehicle accidents. Police believe this hazardous combination caused a chain-reaction crash on I-64 in York County on Sunday involving 63 vehicles and 51 injuries.
Our thoughts are with those who suffered injuries in one of the largest accidents seen in Hampton Roads in decades. Virginia State Police responded to a 63 vehicle chain-reaction accident with over 50 reported injured on Sunday morning, WAVY.com reported. Emergency communications took a call at 7:49 a.m. for a crash on I-64 westbound near the Queens Creek Bridge.
The Severity of the Injuries
Peter Glagola, a spokesman with Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, confirmed that medical staff treated 35 patients from the wreck. Some of the injuries were reported to be critical by state police. Glagola said one person suffered serious injuries and five sustained moderate injuries. About 19 patients have less serious injuries.
Virginia State Police later confirmed 51 people received medical treatment for their injuries. They include 11 people with serious injuries and two with injuries that are considered life-threatening.
Images from York County showed a chaotic scene with dozens of mangled vehicles blocking the interstate. The Virginia Department of Transportation said all westbound lanes were closed on Sunday because of the incident, with traffic rerouted to Route 199. The chain-reaction crash occurred near the Camp Peary exit.
Police said a second crash at the Queens Creek Bridge blocked a single eastbound lane on I-64, according to VDOT. Both lanes of I-64 east reopened soon after the crash. The westbound lanes reopened later Sunday.
How Fog and Ice Cause Chain-Reaction Accidents
Although the cause of the wreck was not immediately clear on Sunday morning, the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Offices reminded drivers to be cautious in foggy and icy conditions, especially on bridges that ice over before other areas.
WAVY.com spoke to Darryl Butler who confirmed heavy fog was a factor in the mass crash. Butler was driving a pickup on I-64. He slowed down to about 35 mph because of the thick fog but noticed traffic behind him traveling at over 70 mph. Butler’s Ford was struck half a dozen times. He suffered whiplash injuries. Other drivers reported cars sliding on the ice.
Fog dramatically cuts visibility on the roads. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to slow their speed and take other precautions, like using fog lights. When ice is added to the mix, it is a truly dangerous combination on the roads of Virginia.
In 2013, three people died, and many others sustained injuries in a chain-reaction crash involving more than 100 vehicles near the base of Fancy Gap Mountain in western Virginia near the North Carolina border.
Severe fog hit the area before the wreck. The impact set at least three vehicles on fire and involved tractor-trailers. At least half a dozen pile-ups took place at the same place since 1997.
Chain-reaction accidents on this scale occur less frequency in eastern Virginia. However, these types of wrecks are often devastating on busy interstates where drivers typically reach speeds over 70 mph.
Just weeks ago, State Police said fog and ice caused an accident on Afton Mountain near Charlottesville when the driver of a mail truck lost control on ice and a tour bus hit it.
Contact a Car Wreck Attorney Today
Always reduce your speed if you believe ice is present on the road surface. Drivers often cannot see black ice. Be careful on bridges and overpasses that ice over first. Cut your speed in fog and pull over to a safe place off the highway if possible. Drivers should never tailgate, but it is more important than ever to keep your distance behind the vehicle in front of you during icy and foggy weather.
Drivers traveling too fast for the conditions or being distracted generally are the cause of these chain-reaction crashes. If you or a family member has suffered injuries in a Virginia chain-reaction crash, it can be hard to know where to turn.
Usually, one or more driver acted irresponsibly and caused the crash. Piecing together the details can be a nightmare and requires the help of an experienced car accident injury legal team. To get started on your case, call today.