AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV/Gray News) — Both sides of Interstate 64 on Afton Mountain are now reopen after they were closed for about five hours Sunday morning due to a crash that's left about 24 people hospitalized.
Photo: Virginia State Police
At 4:37 a.m., according to Virginia State Police, a tractor trailer hauling U.S. mail heading east on I-64 lost control and overturned across the eastbound lanes near mile marker 100, at the Nelson County/Augusta County line.
The road was messy at the time, with wet and icy conditions near the top of the mountain. The National Weather Service had issued a Winter Weather Advisory in the area for freezing drizzle and fog, with near-zero visibility on the mountain.
Police say a Silver Linings Tours bus also driving east was unable to avoid the overturned tractor trailer and hit it directly, splitting the tractor trailer in half and leaving its cargo, which was U.S. mail, scattered across the lanes.
The bus, which had a driver and more than 20 passengers on board, ran off the right side of the road and came to rest against a guardrail.
Silver Linings Tours is based out of Troy, Virginia.
The tractor trailer driver, identified as 44-year-old James Proffitt, of Suffolk, was taken to UVA Medical Center for treatment of serious, but not life threatening, injuries.
The bus driver, identified as 62-year-old Andrew L. Burruss, of Keswick, was taken to UVA Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries as well.
Those two were among 15 patients taken to UVA Medical Center for treatment. Another four were transported to Augusta Health for treatment.
The Sentara Martha Jefferson Emergency Department told media outlets that they received five patients from the I-64 crash as well, and reports that all five are in stable condition.
Virginia State Police say there are no confirmed fatalities at this time. Injuries range from serious to minor.
As a result of the crash between the bus and the tractor trailer, police say there were seven other minor crashes, each of which had no injuries involved.
As of 9:20 a.m., lanes on both sides of Interstate 64 were reopened as crews worked to upright the overturned vehicles.
Due to icy conditions, authorities advise using caution when traveling in the area throughout Sunday morning.
The Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Safety Team responded to the scene to assist with the crash investigation. The U.S. Postal Inspector also responded to the scene since the tractor-trailer was loaded with U.S. mail.
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