Accident on I-64 W Stops Traffic for Hours

By: Marcus Washington
By: Marcus Washington

August 18, 2005

A camper over an embankment on the Interstate, two people trapped inside the vehicle and a possible propane leak. It all added up to a messy accident on Interstate 64 Friday afternoon.

Imagine driving in traffic bumper to bumper without moving an inch for hours. It was scene on Interstate 64 caused by an accident west bound of the interstate that literally stopped traffic for hours.

"The pick-up truck went over the embankment about 150-200 feet down," said Doug Smythers, Seminole Trail Volunteer Fire Department. "Two occupants inside. They both had non-life threatening injuries."

It was a scary scene for rescue units as they discovered a leaking propane tank on the overturned camper.

"The propane was leaking from the trailer, they controlled that, and then that's when they opened the interstate back up," explained Smythers.

Officers said the vehicle was traveling west bound on I-64. That's when the camper connected to the back of the truck began fish-tailing, hitting the guardrail. The vehicle then separated from the camper and was tossed downing the embankment.

"The lady was a passenger; she was fairly calm. The driver was somewhat disoriented, but also calm," explained rescue worker Steve Hartman.

The portable tools known as the Jaws of Life was used to remover the driver and the passenger from the smashed truck.

Police are still unsure what caused the accident, but they say the driver and the passenger are both very lucky. Both the driver and the passenger were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

"They both had minor injuries, a few broken bones. I believe the woman had a broken wrist," added Hartman.

VDOT is responsible for the clean-up of the accident which took hours.

No word at this time if any charges will be pressed against the driver.

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