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Driver blames water bottle for crash that closed I-64

Posted at 12:14 PM, Jul 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-08 17:19:27-04

NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. - The driver of a box truck told police he only looked down for a moment. That moment was long enough to cause a multi-vehicle crash that shutdown Interstate 64 east in New Kent County for several hours Tuesday.

"The driver had looked down to get a bottle of water," Virginia State Police Sgt. Stephan Vick said about the 10:30 a.m. crash. "He said when he looked up traffic was slowing."

The left lane reopened to traffic about 4:35 p.m., the right lane remained closed through the evening rush hour.

The box truck slammed into a Toyota mini-van. The mini-van then hit a Chevy pick-up. In all, six other vehicles were involved in the wreck.

A tanker truck involved in the crash overturned and spilled diesel fuel on the highway.

"It's unsafe to move it," Sgt. Vick said. "So, therefore the fuel will have to be unloaded and put onto another truck."

While the crash happened on Interstate 64 east near the 222 mile marker, its impact was felt for miles in both directions.

At one point eastbound traffic was backed up nine miles and westbound traffic backed up more than four miles. State police and VDOT closed one westbound lane to give eastbound traffic room to get off the highway.

"Drivers are being allowed access to the median crossover," VDOT spokeswoman Lindsay LeGrand said. "Once heading westbound, drivers can access the posted detour."

Among the people stuck in traffic, six-year-old Jackson Wright. The Midlothian child was headed to Busch Gardens with his family Tuesday morning when they got caught in crash traffic.

With traffic at a standstill, Jackson got out of the car to assess the situation.

After several hours, Jackson and his family made it to the park. As for his disappointment during the wait, his mom said it was nothing a log flume ride (or 3) could not cure.

Four people were injured in the accident. Police did not release the condition of the crash victims.

The police investigation into the crash remains on-going.