(Chatham, Va.) – The driver of an 18-wheeler was treated for minor injuries after his big rig left the highway and struck a light pole and several parked cars before crashing into a church in Chatham.

Virginia State Police say the tractor-trailer was northbound on Rt. 29 about 10:45 Tuesday night when the vehicle ran off the left side of the roadway, through the median, and across both southbound lanes before jumping a ditch and striking a light pole. The truck then slammed into several vehicles that were parked in the lot of the Open Bible Church at 20669 US 29. The vehicle hit the front end of one car, the church bus and the church van before coming to rest inside the front of the church.

The driver of the Sheetz semi-truck was trapped in the cab and was freed about 30 minutes later.

The tractor-trailer was leaking diesel fuel and a HAZMAT crew responded, along with units from the Chatham, Gretna, Dry Fork, Blairs and Cool Branch Fire and Rescue Departments. Regional One sent an ambulance to the scene.

The driver was treated for minor injuries and was taken to the hospital. He was charged with reckless driving.

No other injuries were reported.  (Photo: Ken Warrick)