An April 1, 2006 crash that killed a 23-year-old Clifton woman may not have been the only traffic incident that morning for the driver of the SUV that slammed into her.
Virginia State Police are asking the public's help in providing them with any information about either incident.
The crash occurred around 2:10 a.m., on westbound I-66, just three-tenths of a mile east of I-495. A dark green Ford Explorer with no headlights on — and traveling the wrong way on I-66 — crashed head-on into a 2006 Honda Civic and the victim, Rawand Manuel Hirezi, was the front-seat passenger.
"The focus of this investigation is now into what may have happened prior to the fatal traffic crash," said Trooper Frederick A. Richens, who responded to the scene. "We have information that suggests that the dark green Ford Explorer may have collided with a red vehicle a couple miles before it struck the Honda."
Police said Hirezi died at the scene. She and the Honda's driver, Hootan Moeirzadeh, 27, of the Buckley's Reserve community in Fairfax, were traveling west on I-66 in the left lane. Police say both were wearing seatbelts.
At that time, police say that Christina Maria Peele, 29, of Front Royal was driving a 1994 Explorer, with her brother William, 26, in the right-front passenger seat. But, say police, she was driving east on I-66 in the westbound lanes and crashed head on into the Honda.
The Peele siblings and Moeirzadeh were all treated at Inova Fairfax Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and released. Hirezi was later buried in Fairfax Memorial Park.
According to police, Christina Peele also got into trouble with her vehicle some 2 1/2 to three miles prior to the scene of the fatal crash. They say she'd spun out in the westbound lanes of I-66 and came to a stop in the center median strip.
"At least three vehicles, including a taxi, pulled over to offer assistance to Peele," say police. "However, moments after being approached, Peele pulled back into traffic and began traveling the wrong way in the westbound lanes. Within minutes, she struck the Honda Civic."
Police are seeking information from Christina Peele's medical records from the night of the accident.
In his explanation about why he sought to obtain Peele's medical records, Richens described the fatal accident, as well as what happened earlier. "Numerous 911 calls were received from citizens on I-66 who reported having observed a Ford Explorer traveling eastbound in the westbound travel lanes near the area of I-66 near Nutley Street, approximately three miles west of the crash scene,” wrote Richens.
Richens wrote that one of the witnesses who saw this vehicle traveling in that manner was an off-duty, Fairfax County police officer, whom he interviewed.
Richens wrote that the county officer approached the driver and tried to determine what the problem was, but "the driver immediately left the scene, traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes. The county police officer yelled for the driver to stop, [but] was unsuccessful." Minutes later, the SUV crashed head-on into the Honda.
VIRGINIA STATE POLICE believe the Explorer may have collided with a red vehicle in the earlier incident. "But we have no make or [license] tag number for this car," said State Police spokesman Sgt. Terry Licklider on Monday, April. 24. "And as of today, we've received no tips about it."
So the State Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed one or both of these crashes to contact them. Call either their Fairfax Division Headquarters at 1-888-750-3487 or Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
At the hospital, wrote Richens, "Christina Peele appeared disoriented and was not aware of the circumstances surrounding the accident. [She] claimed she had no idea she had been driving eastbound in the westbound travel lanes." Tests showed that Christina Peele had no alcohol in her bloodstream at that time, according to police reports.