‘It got really foggy really quick’ before ‘apocalyptic’ 69-car pileup, witness says

Posted at 8:46 PM, Dec 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-22 20:47:19-05

YORK COUNTY, Va. – A man who survived the 69-car pileup on Interstate 64 near Williamsburg Sunday morning called what he witnessed to an “apocalyptic moment.”

Troopers received the first calls about the multi-vehicle crash in the westbound lanes of I-64 on the Queens Creek bridge just after 7:50 a.m.

"Due to icy conditions on the bridge and severe fog, the crashes continued in both the westbound and then the eastbound lanes of I-64," Sgt. Michelle Anaya with Virginia State Police said.

 'Apocalyptic' 69-car pileup on I-64

'Apocalyptic' 69-car pileup on I-64

“It was one second I was getting on the bridge,” Bray Hollowell remembered. “The other second, I was braking and trying to get out of the way.

Hollowell said the crash was not in a work zone, but was not far from a construction zone.

“It was two lanes,” Hollowell said. “It’s just a rough place to drive, so traffic was more compact and squished together.”

Hollowell said the weather turned quickly.

“It really just got really foggy really quick,” he 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.”

Bray Hollowell

Bray Hollowell

Traffic cameras in the area showed heavy fog and backups on both sides of the interstate.

Fifty-one people were treated and transported to four area hospitals, according to state police.

"The majority of injuries were minor, with 11 individuals being treated for serious injuries," Sgt. Anaya said.

However, two of the victims were critically injured, according to troopers.

“It was actually an apocalyptic moment,” Hollowell said. “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.”

Investigators said fog and icy roads are considered factors in the crash, but the multiple crashes remain under investigation.

“Everybody is really lucky,” Hollowell said. “I don't know the extent of everybody's injuries… but from what I saw and from the amount of people who were able to walk and just kind of go on with their lives is really fortunate and something I’m thankful for.”

Officials said no charges have been filed as multiple crash investigations remain ongoing.

In addition to Virginia State Police, the York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office, James City County Police Department, VDOT and seven fire departments, including the York County Department of Fire and Life Safety and James City County Fire Department, all worked the massive scene.

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