Fog caused 17 crashes on the I-77, near the North Carolina borderA pile-up on Virginia interstate 77 has claimed three lives on Sunday, March 31. At least 25 people were severely injured when 17 vehicles crashed at around 1:15 p.m.
Original reports have mentioned that 75 cars had been involved in the pile-up, but the toll is currently at 95.
ABC News details that the vehicles were stuck on the I-77 yesterday, blocking both lanes in proximity to the North Carolina border. The jam was reported in the Fancy Gap Mountain area, where whether conditions at the time were described as foggy.
A spokesperson for the Virginia State Police notes that officials closed down northbound lanes, while emergency operators pulled out stranded drivers and gave first aid.
“[There were] 17 separate traffic crashes, but they all occurred as a chain reaction in that one-mile stretch of Interstate 77.
“The initial crash, the very first one, we’re still investigating obviously what caused that one exactly, that’s still under investigation,” Corinne Geller said in a statement.
“Excessive fog” made it difficult for motorists traveling at high speeds to stop their vehicles and avoid the crash, Geller adds.
“People were traveling too fast for the road conditions and you had the initial crash and then you had a chain reaction, a series of crashes because the fog was so thick, people could not see what was up ahead,” she notes.
“There was an incident up in the front, whether it was another accident or another driver stopped… then the other drivers couldn’t stop in time,” Sgt. Michael Conroy with the Virgina State Police tells reporters.
“Cars just started hitting each other… all you could hear was bam bam bam. [...] All you could hear was explosions,” witness Linda Alexander of Charlotte recalls.
The victims of the crash have been transported to local hospitals, including Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, WTVR describes.
Their names and ages have not been released at this point, but we will keep you updated as more details come to light.