UPDATE, 10am Thursday, August 7: State police have confirmed that two people have now died following the five-vehicle crash Wednesday morning.
According to police spokeswoman Corinne Geller, a flatbed tractor trailer sparked the collision when it rear-ended a Nissan Pathfinder. The Pathfinder was pushed into a Lincoln Town Car. During the pileup, a Chevrolet Suburban was struck, forcing the vehicle off the left side of the interstate, where it overturned before striking a second tractor-trailer. The Lincoln was struck by the initial tractor-trailer, and the impact caused the car to catch fire.
The driver of the Pathfinder, Kelsey A. Lesslick, 24, was airlifted to the UVA Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries. As of Thursday morning, she was in intensive care, according to a hospital rep.
The driver of the Lincoln Town Car, Vicki L. Shields, 70, died at the scene.
The adult male driver of the Suburban was uninjured, and his wife was transported to the UVA Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. An adult male backseat passenger in the Suburban was ejected from the Suburban as it overturned and died after being transported to the UVA Medical Center. According to Geller, his name has not been released as police are still in the process of notifying his next of kin.
Geller said the driver of the flatbed tractor-trailer, James J. Nagy, 50, was not injured in the accident, but he has been charged with reckless driving. Addition charges are pending.
The adult male driver of the second tractor-trailer was not injured in the crash.
This is the story as it was originally reported Wednesday, August 6:
One individual is dead, and four have been transported to the UVA Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries following a fiery, chain-reaction crash on I-64 west in Albemarle County Wednesday morning.
State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said traffic in the westbound lanes of I-64 near mile marker 128 had slowed for an earlier accident when a tractor-trailer failed to brake in time and struck the SUV in front of it just after 11am, initiating the chain-reaction crash involving two tractor-trailers and three passenger vehicles. As of Wednesday afternoon, no names had been released.
According to stories by the Daily Progress, Newsplex, and NBC 29 that cited reports from the scene, one car burst into flames as the vehicles collided.
Both lanes of I-64 west have been shut down, and Virginia Department of Transportation officials are redirecting the westbound traffic. VDOT hopes to reopen the west lanes of I-64 later this afternoon.
VDOT officials reported that I-64 west traffic was backed up nearly three miles from Black Cat Road to U.S. 15 and Zion Crossroads.
Police reported the detour caused spillover traffic problems on U.S. 250, with back ups at one point of about six miles.