Snowstorms and fog has once again targeted the Virginian interstates, causing a horrific crash between a charter bus and tractor-trailer on the Interstate 64 in the Afton Mountain region, early Sunday morning.
The Virginia bus crash left at least 24 people injured, forcing the authorities to close the interstate from both the sides, which was later reopened around 09:00 am. According to the authorities, the drivers were completely taken aback due to the snowstorm and iced roadways, which caused the accident.
As per the statements from the Virginia State Police, the accident took place at 04:35 am in the eastbound lanes of I-64 at the 100-mile marker in Nelson County at the Augusta County line, near the Blue Ridge Parkway and west of Afton Mountain, which is about 25 miles west of Charlottesville.
Police, while revealing the details of the Virginia bus crash, claimed that the 44-year-old driver of the tractor-trailer, James Proffitt was traveling east on the interstate when he lost control of the tractor-trailer and the vehicle overturned.
The authorities added that the Silver Lining Tours bus was also traveling east. The 62-year-old bus driver, Andrew L. Burruss was unable to avoid the overturned tractor-trailer, thus causing the crash.
The impact of the collision split the tractor-trailer in half, scattering its cargo US Mails across the lanes. Following the crash, the charter bus steered to the right side of the highway, before coming to rest against the guardrail.
Following the crash, seven other vehicles failed to avoid wreckage of the tractor-trailer and the bus, causing shut down of I-64 for nearly five hours.
According to Kostas Alibertis, chief of the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad, most of the passengers escaped the ghastly crash with minor injuries. However, the drivers received more serious injuries but they were not life-threatening.
Amongst the 24 injured, 15 including the two drivers were treated at the UVA Medical Center, four at Augusta Health and five at Sentara Martha Jefferson Emergency Department.
Apart from the recent Virginia bus crash, there have been five major multiple-vehicle collisions in the state till date, either due to fog, snowstorm or iced roads.
These collisions include two crashes on I-64 in April 1992 and February 2010, one on I-95 in February 2001 and two on I-77 in November 2010 and March 2013. These collisions have killed seven and injured more than 48 people.
With major vehicle collisions of such an impact having occurred in the past, it remains a question of future whether the newly formed Democratic government devises some methods along with the highway and law enforcement authorities to mitigate the happenings of such dreaded incidents?