If you've ever driven along Interstate 77 from North Carolina into the state of Virginia, you know how treacherous of a drive it can be, especially when you get near the mountains. But after a multi-vehicle crash consumed a large section of the interstate a few days ago, now the rest of the country knows just how dangerous this interstate can be.
Freeway message boards along the majority of Interstate 77 were said to have been illuminated with the warning of dense fog conditions just along the border between North Carolina and Virginia. "This mountain [Fancy Gap Mountain] is notorious for fog banks," explained an American Red Cross member who lives near where the multiple car accidents occurred.
The highway patrol believes that the first crash occurred sometime around 1 pm on Easter Sunday, quickly turning into a 95-car pile-up that caused a backup in the southbound lanes for eight miles. To allow emergency vehicles access to the crashes, police had to close down the northbound lanes of traffic which weren't reopened until late that night.
Virginia State Police determined that there had been 17 separate crashes, which spanned nearly a mile. At the center, emergency crews found a smash of about eight vehicles, some of which had even caught on fire. In total, 25 people are reported to have been injured in the multi-car accident while three are said to have been killed.
Investigators are still trying to determine the exact cause of the crashes, though the overwhelming consensus is that the dense fog and low visibility were the main culprits. Police also think that drivers going too fast in the area may also have contributed to Sunday's tragedy.
Source: CBS News, "95-car wreck leaves 3 dead at Va.-N.C. line," April 1, 2013