Dozens of vehicles were involved in a massive pileup that shut down a Virginia interstate early Sunday morning. Several injuries have been reported, but thankfully there were no fatalities.
The pileup, which shut down a stretch of I-64 in both directions for several hours, involved two separate incidents that ultimately wrapped up more than 60 vehicles before coming to an end. Chain-reaction crashes began just before 8 a.m., when motorists were caught off guard by icing and heavy fog on the Queens Creek bridge near Williamsburg. Subsequent issues reportedly then came from people rubbernecking at the initial pileup.
Virginia State Police say that 35 people were taken to the hospital with issues ranging from minor injuries to at least one patient with reported life-threatening injuries.
Pileup crashes are unfortunately a somewhat common occurrence when weather catches drivers off guard, especially in states that don’t see frequent snow and ice. Just last week, a pileup in Pennsylvania killed two and injured at least 37, and earlier this month a foggy highway caused more than 25 cars to pile up in Maryland.
If you find yourself on the terrifying business end of a multi-vehicle crash, experts recommend leaving your car only if it’s safe to do so and only if you can find cover away from other vehicles. Turn on your emergency flashers and attempt to flag other motorists, if possible. Of course, prevention is a far safer approach, so it’s better to slow down and give yourself plenty of room to stop if the vehicle in front of you has issues. Never assume that the people driving near you are experienced in winter weather and don’t treat four-wheel or all-wheel-drive as a ticket to drive aggressively when there are poor road conditions.
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