More than 20 people were hurt when a charter bus hit an overturned tractor-trailer on Interstate 64 in Virginia after light freezing rain caught drivers off guard and iced roadways early Sunday, authorities said.

According to Virginia State Police, about 4:37 a.m., a trooper responded to a crash in the eastbound lanes of I-64 at the 100-mile marker in Nelson County at the Augusta County line. That’s about 25 miles west of Charlottesville.

Police said a tractor-trailer was traveling east on the interstate when the driver lost control and overturned across the roadway. A charter bus traveling in the eastbound lane was unable to avoid the tractor-trailer and struck it, with the impact of the crash splitting the tractor-trailer in half. The bus ran off the right side of the highway and came to rest against the guardrail, police said.

The crash, which involved about seven other vehicles unable to avoid the hulking wreckage and icy road conditions forced Virginia State Police to shut down I-64 for several miles in each direction for several hours. Most of the injuries were considered minor with bus passengers suffering scrapes and bruises, but fire crews had to extricate the drivers of the tractor-trailer and the charter bus, who suffered more serious injuries, said Kostas Alibertis, chief of the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad.

“I think it’s remarkable that more people weren’t seriously injured,” Alibertis said.

The tractor-trailer driver, James Proffitt, 44, of Suffolk, Va., was transported to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville for treatment of serious injuries that were not life-threatening, state police said.

The driver of the bus, Andrew L. Burruss, 62, of Keswick, Va., was also transported to U-Va. Medical Center for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening.

Thirteen other people were also taken to the medical center, while four others were treated at the Augusta Health Medical Center in Fishersville, Va.

State police said heavy fog and icy conditions were to blame after a sudden snowstorm affected areas around Afton Mountain, which climbs about 1,900 feet above sea level and has been the site of several multicar pileups over the years, Alibertis said.

The tractor-trailer was carrying U.S. mail. Alibertis said bus passengers remained onboard as emergency workers sent medics on to check conditions. With the main passenger door trapped against the guardrail, firefighters evacuated passengers from a side window or from the windshield opening using ladders and stokes baskets, which are stretcher-like carriers used in rescues.

The drivers of the tractor-trailer and bus were both conscious when fire crews worked for about a half-hour to cut into the vehicle carriages to free them.

Police didn’t say where the bus was headed. It is owned by Silver Lining Charters and Tours, which is based out of Troy, Va. The Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Safety Team is investigating the crash, as is a U.S. postal inspector because the truck was filled with mail.

Both lanes of I-64 were reopened about 9 a.m., according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

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