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Troublesome / tragic day on I-64 at Oakwood
What an insane day. I finally found a news article about the bad crash on I-64 early this morning here. As I suspected, it was not an ice-related accident, but rather a head-on crash caused by a driver traveling the wrong way on the interstate. Tragically the young woman, driving the east in the westbound lanes in the small car, was killed. The driver of the pickup survived, but with injuries.
Fast forward to three hours later. The snowfall rates picked up around 6AM, and by 6:30, the bridges and overpasses in the area were covered with snow and ice. I went back to Fort Hill to set up again. On the way, I tested the slickness of the bridge again by tapping my brakes. My wheels slid easily, and I knew this was going to mean trouble. When I arrived on Fort Hill a minute later, a man parked at the overlook said that he had already watched five cars spin out or crash. I quickly set up my camera and caught another six spinouts/crashes (missing another two). Traffic was heavy and moving fast, and the accidents were happening again and again in rapid succession. At one point, three vehicles spun out and crashed into the inside barrier in a row. Close calls were insane, with tractor-trailers barely missing the spinning cars. At one point, an out-of-control SUV barely missed the three other wrecked cars and a police car. Thankfully, no one was hurt in any of the crashes.
Counting the five incidents I missed before I set up, the two I missed while taping, and the six I caught, that's 13 accidents in less than 30 minutes on the I-64 Fort Hill Bridge on Saturday. Add the 4-6 vehicles involved in the earlier head-on accident, that's 17 to 19 vehicles involved in wrecks on the bridge in less than three and a half hours. By far the worst conditions I have ever witnessed at the bridge and the most accidents I'd seen and caught on tape at one spot in the past 4 years.
Video and screen captures are here.
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