NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Two people have life-threatening injuries after a major crash involving a tractor-trailer Monday morning on Northampton Boulevard near the Norfolk Premium Outlets Monday.
The family of one of the people injured, Melissa Bencosme, reached out to 10 on Your Side.
According to the description on a GoFundMe they’ve set up, Benscome and her friend were waiting at a red light when they were hit from behind by the tractor trailer. The family says Benscome was stuck in the car underneath the truck for three hours, which led to some sort of amputation to her lower extremities. They say she has had multiple surgeries and is in the intensive care unit.
The family is raising money to bring Benscome to New Jersey so she can be with family while she recovers. You can donate by clicking here.
Three vehicles in total were involved in the crash at the intersection of Premium Outlets Boulevard, police say, which happened right in front of the Chic-fil-A. Photos from the scene show one car wedged underneath the front of the truck, with the driver’s side impacted.
“It was horrifying especially, the four-door vehicle that was pinned. Like I said, I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” said Ashley Rainey, who was driving on Northampton Boulevard when the crash happened. “All of a sudden, you just see the back of the tractor-trailer just completely swerve all the way across four lanes of traffic. Then you hear this loud screeching and boom. As soon as the boom happened, dirt flew up into the air out of the bed of the truck.”
Norfolk Fire-Rescue said Monday around 4 p.m. that two people were trapped in a car for an “extended time.” Multiple first responder agencies worked together to extricate them from the vehicle.
“It’s just devastating. You can’t stop 80,000 pounds on a dime and people don’t remember that,” said Margi Pope, who witnessed the aftermath of the crash. “Just say prayers for everybody involved. That’s all I can tell you. That’s just really sad.”
“When it happened, people jumped out of their vehicles from the parking lot, people pulled their vehicles over to the corner where the accident was and so many people sprung into action,” Rainey said.
Dispatchers got the call for the crash at 7:38 a.m., and traffic was still down to one lane in each direction as of 11 a.m., but police are asking drivers to avoid the area if possible. The intersection also lost power due to the crash.
Bonita Billingsley Harris with Dominion Energy said the power should be restored sometime Monday night. Crews were on scene all day, but the cars involved in the crash were blocking the area they needed to access.
Harris said nine customers were impacted, including traffic lights, Chick-fil-A and Ikea.
The crash is still under investigation.
Agencies involved in the rescue included: Virginia Beach Fire Department, Virginia Beach Police, Norfolk Police Department, Dominion Energy, Trauma surgeons from Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, and Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance.
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