This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Monday, August 12, 2013

A 41 Vehicle Crash on I-81!

We left Falling Waters RV Park at 9:30 this morning and returned to I-81 South.  It was all interstate driving with moderate traffic and very boring.  We played CDs with the volume a little on the loud side to make sure I remained awake.  I also strongly believe that listening to music while driving seems to make the miles and hours pass much quicker.  We stopped at a rest area for lunch and didn’t stop again until 3:00PM when we filled up at Exit 77 (VA), near Wytheville.  We wanted to go on for another hour before stopping for the night but couldn’t find a good place in our directories. There was a KOA at Exit 77 and we decided to call it a day.  Since leaving Falling Waters, WV we were 270 miles closer to home.  It had taken us five and a half hours, including stops.  Not too bad. When we pulled into the KOA we found ourselves to be one of only three RVs in the whole park.  That’s fine with me.  It means faster Internet speed.

Earlier today we came upon temporary signs at mile marker 176 (VA) that warned of an “Emergency Event Ahead.”  We didn’t have long to wonder what this meant because we could see where there appeared to have been a terrible accident.  Scattered along the left median were the remains of what was once an Airstream travel trailer.  The only way to identify it was because of the shiny aluminum.  Nothing resembling a travel trailer remained.  It just looked like a load of junk had been dumped and scattered.  Along with the Airstream were two overturned 18-wheelers, one on each side of the southbound lanes.  High rock walls divided the north- and southbound lanes of the interstate (where the highway had been cut through a mountain), which kept the accident contained on the southbound side of the interstate.  

After we were parked at the KOA I got on the Internet and found some information about the accident.  It happened about 5:00PM yesterday (Sunday) and involved a total of 41 vehicles!  A “secondary accident” involving 15 more vehicles was reported to have occurred behind the 41vehicle accident.  Only ten people were hospitalized and there were no life-threatening injuries (a miracle).  It had been raining but had stopped just before the accident.  Apparently the sun had come out and was so bright and glaring that it blinded some of the drivers, which started a chain reaction.  The drivers of the four 18-wheelers elected to steer their rigs off the highway rather than to crash into the rear of any vehicles.  That probably saved some lives.  I don’t really know the reason why two of the 18-wheelers and the remains of the Airstream are still there.  Maybe they are waiting on insurance adjustors or accident investigators.  Who knows?  I’m really glad that we decided to spend two nights in Falling Waters, WV or we could have possibly been involved in that accident.

Chattanooga, TN will be our goal tomorrow.  That will be 290 more interstate miles so should be about six hours of driving time.  We may have to stop a little before we get to Chattanooga so we aren’t driving through and looking for an RV park at rush hour.

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