69-Vehicle Pileup Injures 51 People on Virginia Interstate

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Dozens of people were injured in a 69-car pileup along a Virginia interstate, according to officials.

The crash took place on Sunday morning on Interstate 64 near Williamsburg, Virginia State Police wrote on Twitter.

“No life-threatening or fatalities reported,” police wrote, but they added that 51 people were “transported to region hospitals.”

Emergency responders received a call about the crash at around 7:49 a.m. ET on I-64 westbound near the Queens Creek Bridge, WAVY reported.

Sheriff’s officials told the station that foggy and icy conditions may have factored into the crash.

cars pile up
A multi-vehicle pileup on Interstate 64 in York County, Va., on Dec. 22, 2019. (Courtesy of Shaun Stewart/Williamsburg Flight Center)
First responders were forced to walk across the wreckage on the roofs of vehicles. (York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office)

State officials shut down both the eastbound and westbound lanes to prevent people from stopping to view the crash. The eastbound lanes were opened at around 11 a.m., according to the Washington Examiner.

Police told Fox News that the cause of the crash is under investigation. Some of the injuries were reportedly life-threatening.

“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,” said Gov. Ralph Northam in a statement, WTKR reported.

Crash Deaths in the United States

Tens of thousands of people are killed and millions injured each year from motor vehicle crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC says these deaths cost more than $380 million in direct medical costs.

The major risk factors for crash deaths in the United States are not using seat belts, car seats, and booster seats (factors in over 9,500 crash deaths); drunk driving (a factor in more than 10,000 crash deaths); and speeding (contributing to more than 9,500 crash deaths).

According to 2017 data from the CDC, the 10 leading causes of death in the United States were: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide.

These further break down as follows: the most common are unintentional poisoning deaths (58,335), followed by motor vehicle traffic deaths (40,327), and unintentional fall deaths in third place (34,673).

The total number of emergency department visits for unintentional injuries in the United States in 2017 was 30.8 million, according to the CDC.

The 10 leading causes accounted for 74 percent of all deaths in the United States in 2017.

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