Two passenger vans from the Imagination Station preschool and daycare in Pearisburg collided with a sedan Wednesday morning on the US 460 Bypass around Blacksburg, sending children and adults to hospitals and closing the highway for hours.
The two most seriously hurt children were sent to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Their injuries did not seem to be life-threatening, said Sheila Morrison, owner of the Imagination Station.
Morrison said that she was thankful that the children’s injuries were not worse and that she and others at Imagination Station were praying for everyone who was hurt, including the occupants of the sedan.
“We just want everyone to be OK,” Morrison said late Wednesday afternoon.
She said that the two vans, described by Blacksburg police as 15-passenger vehicles, were on the way from Giles County to Christiansburg, carrying children on a field trip. The plan was for the children to go bowling, Morrison said.
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Blacksburg police said they were notified at 10:50 am of a crash and found three wrecked vehicles, two passenger vans and a sedan, in the highway’s eastbound lanes near Prices Fork Road.
“Multiple patients have been treated at Lewis Gale Montgomery Hospital. Other patients have been taken to Carilion New River Valley Medical Center and two patients with more serious injuries have been flown to Roanoke,” police said.
At 1:30 pm, the eastbound lanes of the US 460 Bypass were closed and traffic was being detoured off the highway and sent into Blacksburg. Travel south on Blacksburg’s Main Street was slow as the road filled with vehicles. Ramps from Prices Fork Road onto both east- and westbound of US 460 were closed.
The highway was reopened to traffic by later afternoon, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The crash site was barely visible from the Prices Fork Road overpass. Emergency vehicles sat along the US 460 median, lights flashing. Flatbed wrecker trucks were still arriving at the scene at 1:40 pm and emergency crews continued working at the crash site into the afternoon.
Drivers were asked to avoid the area.
Crews from Blacksburg’s rescue squad, fire department and police department were on the scene, along with deputies from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, a post on the county emergency services Facebook page said.
Town police said that investigation of the wreck continued and asked anyone with information to call police at (540) 443-1400.