Fifty-one people were injured, two critically, in a 69-car pileup on a Virginia highway on Sunday, state police said. Virginia State Police Sergeant Michelle Anaya said that while fog and icy roads contributed to the crash, the cause of the initial accident is still unclear.
The accident occurred at 7:51 a.m. on I-64 in York County near Williamsburg, Anaya said.
Photos from the scene showed a tangled mass of metal, with car hoods crumpled, windows smashed and a red truck plopped on top of another vehicle. Traffic cameras in the area showed heavy fog and backups on both sides of the interstate.
In addition to the two people with critical injuries, another 11 had serious, but non-life-threatening, injuries.
"It could have been far worse," Anaya said.
One of the survivors of the crash, Bray Hollowell, told CBS Richmond affiliate WTVR the area where the accident occurred is a "rough place to drive."
"It really just got really foggy really quick," Hollowell said. "And I just was driving on the bridge and then out of nowhere I see and accident and I just brake. And I couldn't really do much to avoid. I just ran into people.
"It was actually an apocalyptic moment," Hollowell continued. "So I just got out of the car and there was this one lady who was kind of across the street from me, if you would. She had tried to get out of the car pretty early and actually ended up getting hit by another car."
Ivan Levy said he and his wife were both headed to Williamsburg, where they work, in separate vehicles around the time of the crash.
Levy told The Associated Press he started slowing his truck down and turned his hazard lights on when he saw thick fog.
"Next thing I know I see cars just start piling up on top of each other," he said.
Levy was able to stop in time but then got a call from his wife saying she had been in the wreck.
"It was just so scary," said Alena Levy, who was evaluated at a hospital but was not seriously injured.
Ivan Levy said he ran past cars to find his wife and help her . They made their way back to his truck, and Ivan Levy said he then grabbed a medical kit and started checking on other victims because first responders hadn't arrived yet.
Levy said the car his wife had been driving was a Christmas gift.
"She was all upset about the vehicle, and I was like, 'Look, honey, it's just metal,'" he said.