Members of the Hillsville Police Department and Hillsville Town Council gathered for a moment of silence Monday to honor those who lost their lives March 31, 2013 in the 95-vehicle pileup on Interstate 77 in Fancy Gap.
Dense fog was the cause of the tragic pile-up on I-77 in Fancy Gap last year on Easter Sunday that claimed the lives of three and injured 25 others. The pileup began at approximately 1 p.m. that day between mile markers 6 and 5 of the southbound lane of the interstate in Fancy Gap.
In total, 95 vehicles were involved in 17 separate accidents in the pile-up. All occurred in the southbound lanes of I-77 towards the base of Fancy Gap Mountain. Those tragically lost that day were William M. Sosebee, 33, of Allen, Ky.; Kathern Worley, 71, of Iron Station, N.C.; and Andrew Katbi, 24, of Delphos, Ohio.
On Monday, at exactly the same time the pile-up began one year ago, Hillsville Police Chief Greg Bolen organized a moment of silence on I-77 in Hillsville to remember those who died that day. Joining Bolen were HPD Sgt. Jason Hawks, HPD Officer Bradley Hoffman, HPD Office Manager Michael Henley, and Hillsville Town Council members David Young and Billy Walls. Hillsville Mayor Greg Crowder also expressed his condolences, but wasn’t able to return from the race in Martinsville in time to join the ceremony.
“There were 25 injured in all, but three that died - William Sosebee of Allen, Kentucky; Kathern Worley of Iron Station, North Carolina; and Andrew Katbi of Delphos, Ohio. These three were involved and intertwined right in the heart of the wreck, and unfortunately lost their lives,” Bolen said at the ceremony. “The reason we are out here today was I thought it would be respectful to the families and their memories to have a moment of silence at 1 p.m. because that is when we first got word of the accidents.”
Bolen said the Hillsville Police Department played a small part in the massive emergency efforts that day, but the magnitude of the accidents greatly affected everyone involved. He remains impressed with how many people coordinated together and worked so efficiently one year ago today on I-77 in Fancy Gap.
“We had a small part to do with it. The only thing we did was work traffic and help out where we could,” Bolen said. “State Police and the county had the biggest majority of it. Even the towing companies, the wreck trucks, ambulances and EMS services, they had the biggest part. About the only thing we did was we worked the intersections. But I was just amazed at the support, how everybody banded together and coordinated - the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, state police, North Carolina Highway patrol, even the Galax Police Department. Everybody just kind of banded together and it was impressive to see. But what we want to do here today is remember the individuals that died in the accident.”