Dozens injured in 69-vehicle US pile-up

Damaged vehicles are seen after a chain reaction crash in York County, Virginia. PHOTO: REUTERS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

WILLIAMSBURG, Dec 23, 2019, AP. A pile-up involving more than 60 cars on a major interstate in Virginia on Sunday morning (Dec 22) injured dozens of people, according to state police, The Straits Times reported.

The accident happened just before 8am on Sunday on westbound Interstate 64 in York County near Williamsburg, Virginia State Police Sergeant Michelle Anaya said.

No fatalities were reported, but it took crews hours to clear the roadway and reopen all lanes of traffic.

The authorities do not yet know the cause of the crash, but fog and icy road conditions were contributing factors, Ms Anaya said.

Photos from the scene showed a tangled mass of metal, with car bonnets crumpled, windows smashed and a red truck plopped on top of another vehicle.

Mr Ivan Levy said he and his wife were both headed to Williamsburg, where they work, in separate vehicles at around the time of the crash.

He told the Associated Press that he started slowing his truck down and turned his hazard lights on when he saw thick fog.

“Next thing I know, I see cars just start piling up on top of each other,” he said.

Mr Levy was able to stop in time but then got a call from his wife saying she had been in the wreck.

“It was just so scary,” said Mrs Alena Levy, who was evaluated at a hospital but was not seriously injured.

Mr Levy said he ran past cars to find his wife and help her out.

They made their way back to his truck, and Mr Levy said he then grabbed a medical kit and started checking on other victims because first responders had not arrived yet.

Sixty-nine vehicles were involved in the crash, and 51 people were treated or transported to four local hospitals, Ms Anaya said on Sunday afternoon.

She said she did not have details on the extent of the victims’ injuries.

An earlier statement from state police described some of the injuries as critical.

An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.

In a separate incident, eight cars were involved in an accident on I-64 in the opposite direction after the larger pile-up, Ms Anaya said.

Mr Levy said the car his wife had been driving was a Christmas gift.

“She was all upset about the vehicle, and I was like, ‘Look, honey, it’s just metal’,” he said.

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