Witness recalls moments leading up to fiery crash in Virginia Beach


by 13News Now


Posted on May 5, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Updated Monday, May 5 at 11:30 PM

Virginia Beach Crash

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VIRGINIA BEACH -- A number of people were hurt Monday afternoon during a fiery crash on Ferrell Parkway near Pleasant Valley Road.

Policed said the wreck happened at about 4:00 p.m. and involved 4 vehicles.

"I heard the crash. I looked up and saw flames, so, I mean, they would have to have gotten out so fast," said Tara Pannell who was on Ferrell Parkway at the time of the wreck.

"All I saw was this huge black smoke go up," recalled Pannell, "At that point, you could just hear the crackles, and every couple minutes, you'd hear a large boom, and, then, it would just go up into flames even more."

A pick-up truck, a minivan, and a sedan caught fire. The fourth vehicle, a black truck, was in the treeline along the roadway.

Pannell told 13News Now the black truck sped past her moments before the crash.

"Well over the speed limit, and driving very recklessly," Pannell said of the truck's driver. "He went very quickly. I noticed the sparks, and, then, I mean, he was up in the shoulder, and, then, at that point, I was talking to another gentleman who was out there who said he almost hit him and almost ran him off the road before he actually crashed into the other cars."

Crews had several lanes of Ferrell Parkway closed for hours while they worked to clear all the wreckage and clean up the debris.

Although police said a number of people were injured, they did not say to what extent those people were hurt.

"My biggest thought was, 'That could have been me, and, at that point, how would I have gotten my kids out of my car if they were with me?'" shared Pannell. "Made me a little sick to my stomach thinking it could have been me."

Late Monday, there was no word on what specifically led to the crash or if any charges will come.