A 75-car pile-up on a Virginia interstate has left three people dead and at least 25 others injured. The Easter Sunday pile-up involved dozens of cars, with some reports suggesting almost 100 vehicles played a role in the accident.
The 75-car pile-up was caused by “excessive fog,” according to Virginia State Police, who began receiving emergency calls at around 1:15 pm EST. The accident occurred in the Fancy Gap Mountain area, close to the North Carolina border, and involved 17 separate crashes.
Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told ABC News it was a classic pile-up:
“[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.”
Once the first crash had occurred, Geller said, the combination of thick fog and fast-moving vehicles proved disastrous:
“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.”
The 75-car pile-up resulted in all northbound lanes closing to allow emergency vehicles through. The highway was expected to reopen at around 9pm Sunday, and authorities are advising that travelers over the Easter holiday make alternate travel plans.
Virginia is no stranger to pile-ups: In February 2010, the state saw a 50-car pile-up in Williamsburg.
An eyewitness shot the following footage of today’s 75-car pile-up: