Virginia State Police have charged three men on various charges in relation to two separate incidents at the same scene along Interstate 66 near Exit 52 in Fairfax County on June 29.
At approximately 1:30 a.m., Virginia State Police Trooper A.W. Ball II was traveling in the westbound lanes of I-66 in Fairfax County when his license plate reader alerted him to a license plate on a westbound 2015 Hyundai. The Hyundai had been reported stolen out of Prince George’s County, Md. Ball activated his patrol car’s emergency lights and initiated a traffic stop on the Hyundai, which pulled off onto the shoulder on I-66 near Exit 52.
The male driver and the passenger both fled on foot into the woods as soon as the Hyundai came to a stop. Ball and additional state troopers who responded to the scene pursued and searched on foot for the two males. A VDOT Safety Services Patrol vehicle also stopped out at the scene on I-66 to alert oncoming traffic of the shoulder being closed.
During the course of the troopers searching for the two men, a Ford Explorer traveling west on I-66 ran into the VDOT vehicle causing a chain reaction crash that sent one of the troopers’ vacated vehicles spinning across the westbound lanes of I-66. The trooper’s patrol car ran off the left side of the interstate and struck the embankment. Two other troopers’ vehicles (both unattended at the time) were also damaged in the chain reaction crash. No State Police personnel were injured at the crash scene.
The driver of the Explorer was transported to Fairfax Inova Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. His passenger was also transported to Fairfax Inova Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The driver was charged with reckless driving.
The driver of the VDOT vehicle was seated inside the vehicle at the time it was struck. He was transported to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, where he was treated and released for injuries sustained in the crash.
The pursuit for the two men in the Hyundai continued with the assistance of Fairfax County Police. One man was apprehended, at approximately 2 a.m., without incident and charged with possession of marijuana.
The other man was spotted hitchhiking along the I-66 eastbound lanes near Stringfellow Road. State police responded to the call concerning a pedestrian on the interstate and as they pulled up, the man fled the scene on foot. With the assistance of a Fairfax County Police canine and aviation, he was spotted nearby a short time later and apprehended without incident at approximately 5:20 a.m.
State police charged the second man with unauthorized use of a vehicle, possession of stolen property, eluding police, presenting false identification to a law enforcement officer, and for not having a valid operator’s license.