Inclement weather blamed for charter bus, tractor-trailer crash on Afton Mountain

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TROY, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State Police said a crash involving a charter bus and tractor-trailer that left more than 20 people injured on Afton Mountain Sunday night was caused by inclement weather.

The charter bus was traveling in the eastbound lane of Interstate-64 and was unable to avoid an overturned tractor-trailer in the roadway, according to Virginia State Police.

Our sister-station WRIC spoke with Larry Devault, Deputy Chief with Crozet Volunteer Fire Department, who said his crews usually respond to more than a dozen crashes a month on the mountain.

“Afton Mountain is a tough road,” Devault said. “The temperature in the chief’s car when I was going up there went down from 35 to 28 within about six miles, so we had some freezing fog and everything just iced up.”

RELATED: ‘Your heart just sinks’: Brother of charter bus driver involved in serious Afton Mountain crash speaks out

According to Virginia State Police, heavy fog and icy conditions led caused tractor-trailer carrying U.S. mail to overturn Sunday morning on I-64.

Devault told WRIC both drivers had to be cut out of their vehicles and they had to pry windows open to get all 25 passengers out.

“They were requesting manpower and equipment,” Devault said.

Troopers say no charges will be filled. While the posted speed limit is 65 mph, Devault said that doesn’t stop drivers from speeding.

“People drive too fast on Afton Mountain, both trucks and cars alike and we spend a good portion of our time out there,” Devault said.

RELATED: All lanes open on Interstate 61 after several injured in bus, tractor-trailer crash in Albemarle County

WRIC reached out to VDOT and learned the department just wrapped up a crash study.

“The fog and weather conditions do account for a percentage of the crashes out there but a higher percentage from heavy traffic and differentiation of speed going up the mountain,” said Joel Denunzio, from VDOT.

As a result of the study, VDOT is considering adding more electric message boards along the mountain and possibly lowering the speed limit during inclement weather.

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