Heavy holiday traffic leads to multiple accidents

By Allen Worrell Editor

December 27, 2013

Heavy holiday traffic appears to be the culprit behind several accidents Friday on Interstate 77 in Carroll County.

On Friday evening, the Cana Volunteer Rescue Squad reported on its Facebook page that I-77 was inundated with multiple vehicle accidents south of the 8 Mile Marker in Fancy Gap. According to the Virginia State Police 1st Sgt. Mike Musser, state police responded to seven accidents on Friday in Carroll County. While he said none of them were significant, he blamed heavy holiday traffic on the majority of those accidents.

“There were seven accidents from the heavy traffic volume. A lot of times what we see on Fancy Gap Mountain is when people start looking over into North Carolina at the view, people have a tendency to slow down to look at the view or pop a photo and they end up getting rear-ended.” Musser said. “Most of it comes from improper driving practices. Generally, those tend to be people from out of the area. It occurs any time you travel on the holiday.

When dealing with heavy traffic, Musser advised motorists to increase their following distance behind other vehicles and to leave cell phones and other distractions alone while driving.

In another accident the Virginia State Police worked Friday, a Fancy Gap man was charged with reckless driving after a two-vehicle accident in Hillsville.

According to Virginia State Police Senior Trooper R.D. Horton, the accident occurred at approximately 10:10 a.m. Friday morning on U.S. 52 North, across from Sunny Side Store. Horton said Albert J. Standen, 79, of Fancy Gap, was traveling north on U.S. 52 in a 1976 Chevrolet pickup following behind a 2006 Chevrolet pickup operated by Charles B. Bunn, 66, of Woodlawn. Bunn’s vehicle stopped to make a left turn into the Sunny Side Store parking lot and had to yield for some vehicles traveling southbound when Standen’s vehicle rear-ended Bunn’s vehicle, Horton said.

Standen was transported to Twin County Regional Hospital in Galax to be treated for what Horton believed to be minor injuries. Horton charged Standen with reckless driving. He estimated damages of $1,500 to Standen’s vehicle and $3,000 to Bunn’s vehicle.