Most patients released from hospitals after mail truck, tour bus collision
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — As of Monday, most patients who were hospitalized after a crash between a tractor-trailer and a tour bus on Afton Mountain had been released, but several remained in treatment.
According to an update from UVA Medical Center, four patients remained: two in good condition and two in fair condition. They were among 20 patients initially sent to UVA, four sent to Augusta Health, and five sent to Sentara Martha Jefferson.
Both sides of Interstate 64 on Afton Mountain were closed for about five hours on Sunday morning, after a severe crash sent 29 people to the hospital.
At 4:37 a.m., according to Virginia State Police, a tractor-trailer hauling U.S. mail heading east on I-64 lost control and overturned across the eastbound lanes near mile marker 100, at the Nelson County/Augusta County line.
The road was messy at the time, with wet and icy conditions near the top of the mountain. The National Weather Service had issued a Winter Weather Advisory in the area for freezing drizzle and fog, with near-zero visibility on the mountain.
Police say a Silver Linings Tours bus also driving east was unable to avoid the overturned tractor-trailer and hit it directly, splitting the tractor-trailer in half and leaving its cargo, which was U.S. mail, scattered across the lanes.
The bus, which had a driver and more than 20 passengers on board, ran off the right side of the road and came to rest against a guardrail.
Silver Linings Tours is based out of Troy, Virginia.
The tractor-trailer driver, identified as 44-year-old James Proffitt, of Suffolk, was taken to UVA Medical Center for treatment of serious, but not life-threatening, injuries.
The bus driver, identified as 62-year-old Andrew L. Burruss, of Keswick, was taken to UVA Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries as well.
Those two were among 15 patients taken to UVA Medical Center for treatment. Another 14 were transported to Augusta Health and The Sentara Martha Jefferson Emergency Department.
Officials say at least 23 people have been discharged so far.
Virginia State Police say there are no confirmed fatalities at this time. Injuries range from serious to minor.
As a result of the crash between the bus and the tractor-trailer, police say there were seven other minor crashes, each of which had no injuries involved.
As of 9:20 a.m., lanes on both sides of Interstate 64 were reopened as crews worked to upright the overturned vehicles.
Due to icy conditions, authorities advise using caution when traveling in the area throughout Sunday morning.
The Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Safety Team responded to the scene to assist with the crash investigation. The U.S. Postal Inspector also responded to the scene since the tractor-trailer was loaded with U.S. mail.
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