By Cody Roark
A major pileup involving 69 vehicles occurred in Virginia on Sunday morning. Life-threatening injuries have been sustained by some of the people involved.
Fog and icy conditions played a pivotal role in the chain-reaction crash in York County, Virginia. According to State Police, the 69-car pileup completely shut down traffic on Interstate 64. Authorities are still investigating the exact cause of the wreck along with the knowledge of the weather conditions. The crash occurred at around 7:51 a.m. local time on Queen’s Creek bridge.
35 people were known to be injured in the pileup initially, however that number was raised to 51 Sunday evening. The injuries of those involved range from minor to life-threatening. Police reported that there have been no fatalities thus far.
Peter Glagola, a spokesperson for Riverside Health System, said that 45 patients had been admitted between two of its medical centers on Sunday morning. Some of those with minor injuries had been discharged by Sunday afternoon. “It was a busy morning. We called more staff in and were able to take care of patients rapidly,” Glagola said. “Many have been discharged.”
Glagola explained that Riverside Doctors’ Hospital, in Williamsburg, treated 21 patients. Of those, 15 had minor injuries, such as scrapes, bruises, and body pain. Six patients came in with moderate injuries such as open wounds. Riverside Regional Medical Center, a trauma center in Newport News, received a total of 24 patients. One patient arrived with injuries that were serious, but not life-threatening. Five patients were treated for moderate injuries and 18 more for minor injuries.
Victims of the crash with the most severe injuries were taken to VCU Medical Center. A spokeswoman said the hospital was treating two patients Sunday afternoon, however she did not specify the patients’ conditions.
State police said that the crashes began at Queens Creek Bridge on the westbound lanes of I-64. That section of the interstate is also currently under construction. The eastbound lanes of the interstate also closed because of crashes resulting from “rubbernecking at the westbound crashes.” However, the eastbound lanes opened back up around 11 a.m.
My thoughts are with all involved in the multi-vehicle accident near Williamsburg this morning. Grateful for the emergency crews, first responders, hospital staff, @VSPPIO, and @VaDOT personnel who are working around the clock to keep people safe this holiday season.
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) December 22, 2019
Governor Ralph Northam (D) posted a tweet the afternoon of the pileup expressing his thoughts for those involved and thanking emergency personnel. “My thoughts are with all involved in the multi-car accident near Williamsburg this morning,” he tweeted.
Thankfully no fatalities have been reported and hopefully that statistic remains unchanged. Many of those involved were traveling to see family and friends for the holidays. This time of year is already a busy time for travel. 2019 has seen record-breaking volumes of traffic nationwide. Stay safe this holiday season and drive carefully.