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13 Injured in Virginia Multi-Vehicle Crash

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Thirteen people were taken to local hospitals Monday afternoon, including one woman who was in critical condition, when a large SUV hit vehicles waiting at a stoplight in Hampton, Va.

The four-vehicle accident took place about 3:30 p.m. at the busy intersection of West Mercury Boulevard and North Armistead Avenue and ended with a Chevrolet Suburban on top of a mangled Ford Escort.

Hampton police spokeswoman Paula Ensley said an 18-year-old female passenger from the back of the Escort was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and was listed in critical condition. The injuries to 12 other people from the four vehicles involved were not life threatening, she said.

"The majority were minor injuries," she said.

Ensley said the white Ford and a red Honda Civic had been waiting to turn left at a red light.

The driver of the Suburban appeared to lose control of the vehicle as he headed east on Mercury, about 200 yards from the intersection. One witness said it mounted the central median as it headed east along Mercury Boulevard.

"It was possibly a medical condition, but nothing has been confirmed yet," Ensley said.

An investigation revealed the driver of the Suburban veered into a left turn lane striking the Ford Escort, coming to a stop crushing the rear part of the vehicle. The Escort struck the Civic that was stopped in front of it. A Toyota Scion xB also sustained some damage.

The Escort had three passengers in its back seat.

"The passenger directly behind the front seat passenger was the only one transported with critical injuries," Ensley said.

The Escort was so badly mangled in the crash that police were initially unable to identify its make.

"It doesn't appear that speed was a factor," Ensley said.

Monday night, she said it was too early to say if charges would be brought.

Four ambulances and two fire trucks were called to the scene. The accident caused congestion at the busy intersection.

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