The back-to-back Mid-Atlantic winter storms created hazardous conditions on Virginia’s roads, and Virginia state troopers were fully mobilized in response. From midnight Friday (February 5) through 10 p.m. Sunday (February 7), Virginia State Police emergency dispatchers logged at least 5,229 calls for service. Troopers statewide responded to 1,921 traffic crashes and 2,098 disabled vehicles during the three-day period. The seven State Police Emergency Communications Centers also fielded an additional 4,654 calls from the public for information. The majority of the crashes involved damaged vehicles only. State police did investigate two fatal traffic crashes in which three persons lost their lives.
“Just as we advise drivers to slow down for slick road conditions and allow for more stopping and travel distances between vehicles, we also remind motorists of the importance of buckling up and avoiding distractions,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Even in a ‘fender-bender,’ wearing a seat belt can prevent a driver and passenger from being seriously injured,” Col. Flaherty added.
Official statistics for the follow-up storm have yet to be released by the state police. However, in Williamsburg, VA, whiteout conditions caused a 50 car pile-up on Interstate 64 westbound on February 10. Miraculously, only a small number of minor injuries occurred.
According to state police, the multiple storms also posed new issues for drivers such as expansive potholes because of the constant thawing and refreezing of pavement, and pooling water from melting snow and blocked drains. Virginia motorists should stay alert for such road hazards in order to be safe and maintain proper control of their vehicle, authorities advise.