Victims in I-77 pileup near NC/Va. line identified

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CARROLL COUNTY, Va. — Authorities have identified the three people killed in a 95-vehicle pileup Sunday on I-77 South in Southwest Virginia near the North Carolina line.

Virginia State Police identified the victims as William M. Sosebee, 33, of Allen, Ky.; Kathern Worley, 71, of Iron Station, N.C., and Andrew Katbi, 24, of Delphos, Ohio.

Officials said the multi-vehicle crashes started around 1:15 p.m. within a one mile stretch in Carroll County in the area of Fancy Gap Mountain. They said there was heavy fog at the time.

Police said the first crash sparked a chain reaction of 17 total crashes that involved 95 vehicles.

Police said Sosebee and Worley were both passengers in different vehicles that collided with the same tractor-trailer. They said Katbi was driving a passenger vehicle that rear-ended a tractor-trailer.

Police said all three victims died at the scene. They said about 25 people were taken to nearby hospitals with injuries ranging from serious to minor.

“The majority of these accidents were caused by people going too fast for the conditions,” said Sgt. Michael Conroy with the Virginia State Police.

Drivers said they could barely see anything at all when the chain reaction collisions started.

“Cars just started hitting each other… all you could hear was bam bam bam,” said Charlotte resident Linda Alexander. “All you could hear was explosions.”

Winston-Salem resident Felicia Steele said she was headed home from Kentucky when she hit a huge patch of fog during the wreck.

She said her car was hit from behind, and as soon as she saw diesel on the interstate, she jumped out of her car and ran up an exit ramp. She said her Chevy Malibu caught fire seconds later.

“I just grabbed my keys and my cellphone and I knew it was time to go.” she said.

Steele said she was taken the hospital and released a shortly later. She said she is thankful to be alive, but has no plans to travel for a while.

“I’m terrified of getting back on that road again,” she said.