State police and emergency personnel were working to remove the vehicles and clean up I-64.
Police said 51 people were taken to hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening.
Peter Glagola, a spokesman for Riverside Health System, said two of its medical centers had taken in 45 patients on Sunday morning, including some with serious and moderate injuries. Some patients with minor injuries had already been sent home Sunday afternoon, he said.
“It was a busy morning. We called more staff in and were able to take care of patients rapidly,” Glagola said. “Many have been discharged.”
Riverside Doctors’ Hospital in Williamsburg treated 21 patients, including 15 with minor injuries, such as bruises, bumps and body pain, and six with moderate injuries such as open wounds. Riverside Regional Medical Center, a trauma center in Newport News, received 24 patients, including one with injuries that were serious but not life-threatening. Five patients were treated for moderate injuries and 18 for minor injuries, Glagola said.
Patients with the most severe injuries reportedly were taken to VCU Medical Center. A spokeswoman said the hospital was treating two patients Sunday afternoon, but she declined to specify their condition.
“My thoughts are with all involved in the multi-vehicle accident near Williamburg this morning,” Gov. Ralph Northam (D) tweeted Sunday afternoon, thanking emergency crews, first responders and hospital staff.
The crashes began at Queens Creek Bridge on the westbound lanes of I-64, in an area of the interstate that is under construction. The eastbound lanes of the interstate also closed because of crashes resulting from “rubbernecking at the westbound crashes,” state police said.
Both sides of I-64 were initially closed, but the eastbound lanes reopened around 11 a.m., authorities said. Travelers were urged to seek alternative routes and exercise caution as some bridges were icy.
“Please use caution while driving due to fog and icy road conditions,” especially on bridges, the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office said.