Bucket Truck Driver Billed $25,000 For 8-Vehicle Tunnel Pileup
Hampton Roads, Virginia – A scary crash involving eight vehicles, including a 6,500-gallon asphalt tanker truck, occurred on Wednesday inside the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT), and now the truck driver deemed “at-fault” for the pileup has been handed a bill for $25,000.
Virginia State Police (VSP) said the crash happened just before 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 15.
Transportation Nation Network first reported on the crash later that same day.
VSP said an Ford F350 bucket truck was traveling eastbound and too closely to a 4-wheeler as traffic slowed.
The bucket truck was unable to stop and rear-ended the vehicle in front of it.
The bucket truck then swerved into the path of a tanker truck transporting hot tar, according to officials.
After striking the tanker, the bucket truck jackknifed and caused another chain reaction crash involving 4 additional vehicles, investigators said.
The tanker slammed into the tunnel wall causing a yet undetermined amount of damage, according to VSP.
Incredibly, no one was seriously injured or killed.
Only two people reported non-life threatening injuries and were transported to a nearby hospital.
Images from the crash scene reveal just how deadly the accident could have been.
If you are wondering why @HRBT_VA east and west bound has been stopped, this is what crews are dealing with. The 8 vehicle accident, includes a 6500 gallon asphalt truck. 2 people transported for minor injuries. Tunnel is closed. #757alert pic.twitter.com/VEs3Xj8qvd
— Hampton VA Fire (@HamptonVAFire) May 15, 2019
Authorities shut down all eastbound and westbound lanes of the HRBT for three hours creating a more than 3-mile backup.
Officials said the tanker did not leak which made the cleanup much quicker and less dangerous.
The driver of the box truck was cited for following too closely.
Sgt. Michelle Anaya with VSP worked the accident and told local news outlet WAVY10, things could have been much worse.
“We were very lucky,” Anaya said. “Pay attention to your stopping distance, especially during rush hour traffic or any time you are driving, and we can avoid stuff like this.”
After completing the damage assessment, officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) delivered a bill to the bucket truck driver of $25,000, which is what they estimate the damage to be.
According to VDOT, the incident caused damage to nine sections of handrails, two internal lights and several sections of wall tile.
Officials also confirmed the driver’s insurance will also be getting a bill.
There was no structural damage to the tunnel or that bill would have climbed much higher.