Man involved in 69-vehicle crash on I-64 recounts being trapped in crushed car

Virginia News

YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — A 69-car pileup on Interstate 64 in York County shut down the highway for hours Sunday.

Our sister-station WAVY-TV has been speaking with those involved as they are being released from the hospital. Overall, 51 people were injured in the crash.

Shawn Capehart was one of the many people involved in the crash.

His car was stuck under a truck and pinned between others on all sides. He was on his way to work just before 8 a.m. when the crash happened.

“I hit the red truck and then someone from behind hit me, and then someone from the side hit me, and then after that, it was ‘doosh, doosh. doosh, doosh, doosh,’” Capehart said, describing his car being repeatedly hit during the pileup.

RELATED: 69 vehicles involved in I-64 crash in York County, 51 injured

Moments after the crash, he recorded video from inside his car. Paint that was in his trunk had splattered over the inside of his car and the vehicles around him.

Glass was broken, and his foot was pinned.

“I was pinned, and my foot was caught between the steering wheel and the door, because of the side impact it crushed the door in,” he said.

Capehart made it out of the crash with only scrapes and bruises. He said he’s happy to be alive.

Courtesy: Ivan Levy

WAVY-TV heard from multiple people involved, who said it was extremely foggy and the roads were slick.

York-Poquoson Sheriff J.D. “Danny” Diggs spoke with WAVY News about what it was like arriving on scene.

“It was really a surreal kind of thing, all these cars all piled up,” Diggs said.

It’s just the beginning of winter, and with holiday travel on the roads peaking around this time of year, he’s warning drivers to be extra careful.

“We always see the signs, ‘ice forms on bridges before roadway,’ and you see them, but here where we’re at, you usually think of that when it’s in the 20s but this was just a little below freezing. Pay attention when you get into a foggy situation,” Diggs said.

He says he was proud of all of the agencies that worked together to get the people out of their cars and to the hospitals.

VDOT officials also said the response was an important example of the partnership between area agencies.

“The response to yesterday’s incident was a true testament to these partnerships that have been formed and highlighted the teamwork of multiple partnering agencies working together to not only provide medical attention as quickly as possible but also in the clearing of dozens of vehicles and debris from the roadway in the safest and quickest way to get traffic moving again,” VDOT spokesperson Jordan-Ashley Walker wrote in an email.

Capehart says he’s also grateful for the first responders that kept him calm until he was freed from his car. He was stuck for about an hour, he said.

One of Capehart’s friends made a GoFundMe for him to help with bills and getting a new car.

To donate, click here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/shawn-capehart.

VDOT says the crash did not damage the bridge, which is currently being worked on as part of the I-64 Widening Project. The width of the bridge and vehicle access is not different than before work began, VDOT said.

VDOT officials also said the agency has been proactively working with other agencies — even before the crash — to make preparations for response to incidents such as Sunday’s crash.

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