Pedestrian pinned after wrecks in Cana

January 29, 2014

Snow-covered and slick roads led to a total of 16 “reportable” accidents over a 24-hour period in Carroll County and Grayson County beginning Tuesday morning.

Epworth Road in Cana was the epicenter of the activity, with two separate accidents ending with a pedestrian pinned between two vehicles, according to Virginia State Police Senior Trooper R.D. Horton. The road was so slick a Cana Rescue Squad ambulance got stuck and a VDOT truck nearly flipped over a bank, Horton said.

The main incident began around 3:30 p.m. on Epworth Road, just east of U.S. 52, Horton said. That’s when a 2011 Kenworth truck operated by James A. Roberts, 43, of Independence, slid sideways across the road before coming to rest against a tree. The truck, which Horton described as a single-axle commercial vehicle, blocked both lanes of travel.

Roberts got out of his vehicle and was on the shoulder of the road when a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Brian K. Rotenizer, 41, of Cana, came around the curve and saw the wrecked truck. Horton said Rotenizer started to apply the brakes but the road was so slick he couldn’t stop. Rotenizer put the Jeep in the right side of the ditch and rode there until the vehicle stopped, Horton said.

Later, Rotenizer attempted to get his vehicle out of the ditch. The road was so slick, the Jeep immediately starting sliding toward Robert’s truck.

“Mr. Roberts somehow lost his footing between all this and he started sliding toward the Jeep and the truck,” Horton said. “Mr. Rotenzier didn’t know this as he was trying to put it in reverse. He tried to spin his way back into the travel lanes, but there was such a grade on that snow-covered hill it caused the Jeep’s rear-end to strike Mr. Roberts, pinning him against the Jeep and the truck.”

Horton said Roberts was transported by Cana Rescue Squad to Northern Hospital of Surry County, N.C. for treatment of minor injuries. It was so slick, Horton said, Cana Rescue Squad’s ambulance got stuck. An ATV was called in to pick up Roberts and load him for transport.

No charges were filed in the incident.

“The hill was so slick you couldn’t even walk,” Horton said. “VDOT came to spread salt, which helped some, but even their truck broke loose and almost slid over the bank.”

Horton said many of the accidents Tuesday and Wednesday were caused by motorists traveling too fast for the conditions or driving on bald tires.

“I’d like to remind drivers to reduce their speed. Some of these accidents were drivers going too fast for the road. Some of them were caused by slick tries” Horton said. “Make sure you winterize your vehicles. We had three of four that slid off in a ditch because their ties were bald. Slow down and give yourself time in this inclement weather and check your tires for good tread depth.”