Three people were killed and 25 others injured in a 95 car pileup Easter Sunday on Interstate 77 near the Virginia-North Carolina border.
Police say 17 separate crashes occurred in the southbound lanes of I-77 within a mile span near the base of Fancy Gap Mountain beginning at around 1:15 p.m. Sunday.
Cross Lanes resident Jil Stoetzner was traveling northbound through the area at the time of the incident. They were stopped and recall the fog being thick.
“It kind of started out gradual, light, then you were in patches, but then when you hit the big patch you hit it. You couldn’t see it coming,” said Stoetzner. “You couldn’t see the car in front of you.”
Both the northbound and southbound lanes were closed for several hours as emergency crews frantically tried to tend to the injured and clean up the wreck. The northbound lanes were closed to allow emergency vehicles to work the accident scene.
Stoetzner said there were emergency vehicles everywhere.
“There was probably five or six that went up right past us, could not get through to the accident, turned back around, came back down south on the northbound lanes and went northbound on the southbound lanes,” said Stoetzner. “It was just really crazy.”
The northbound lanes were reopened Sunday evening and the southbound lanes were finally opened 12 a.m. Monday.
When they finally got moving again, Stoetzner said they had been sitting in one place for about six hours.
“We were there for four and a half hours and they moved us, we were at mile marker five, they moved us about a half mile and we sat there probably another hour and a half, two hours,” said Stoetzner.
Police said the initial wreck involved tractor-trailers and resulted in a fire.
The names of the three people who died have not been released.