VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - A Virginia Beach man and his son remain in the hospital after a terrifying car crash on Interstate 264 Monday . WAVY.com has the 911 calls about the crash and found the driver State Police said began the chain of events that ended with a car plunging 30 feet onto train tracks below.
"It was chaos, very quickly," said Rob Cobble, who took pictures of the horror he saw on I-264 around 6:15 p.m. Monday. "I took a deep breath, and then breaths, and it was almost like it was in slow motion, and I watched it tumble and tumble. The last [tumble] the car was airborne. I knew at that moment it was going over the side."
State Police said Sarah Gurganus, who was driving her 2004 Nissan Exterra, lost control and struck a 2002 Chevy Blazer driven by Jamal Strayhorn, Sr. who then lost control of his vehicle and started rolling.
"As I looked over to the right, I knew that they were going to go over, and I said 'No, no, no' and they kept rolling, and there is no way they are going to stop, and they just continued over the side," Cobble said.
The frantic 911 calls came in immediately and in great numbers. The most dramatic call came from an unidentified woman: "There has been an accident on 264 at Witchduck Road." The 911 dispatcher had to calm her down: "Calm down...was it eastbound or westbound?"
Also in Strayhorn's car was his 15-year-old son.
The 911 call continued: "They went down the embankment, yes." Again, the operator said, "Listen to me. Listen to me. Listen to me. Stop. Stop." The caller finally stopped talking. The dispatcher asked, "Is anyone trapped or in the car?" The caller answered, "I don't know the car went over the embankment, how can I know?"
Down below, emergency crews worked frantically.
"There is a car seat in the middle of the road," the 911 caller told dispatch.
At first, it was thought a child might have been thrown, but that was not the case. When Strayhorn's car started flipping, stuff from inside started flying out, but he and his son were wearing seat belts.
Cobble saw rescue crews working on the passenger.
"The passenger was moving, but not very much," he said. "They were just trying to keep him calm. They weren't moving him at all."
Strayhorn and his son were taken to the hospital. Strayhorn is in fair condition, but no condition was released on his son.
State Police said charges are pending, and Sarah Gurganus has not yet been charged. She refused to answer WAVY.com's knocks on her door, but spoke over the phone.
"I don't like the way the story has been reported," she said. "I do not want to do an interview."
Jamal Strayhorn, Sr. works for Bay Electric in Newport News and has done contracting work for the Virginia Department of Transportation.
"It was rough. It was really bad. I have seen things in movies that weren't that bad. It was crazy," said Cobble.
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.