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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