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BREAKING: Police search for driver who killed I-66 construction worker in Oakton

Virginia State Police vehicle (photo by John Calhoun/JC Photography)

Updated at 11:40 a.m. on 12/9/2022The Virginia State Police says it located the Chevrolet Malibu involved in the I-66 hit-and-run in a local public parking garage after receiving a phone tip last night (Thursday).

“The Malibu has been seized as evidence and is being processed,” police said. “The temporary tags displayed on the vehicle do not belong to the vehicle. The investigation into identifying and locating the driver of the Malibu remains ongoing at this time.”

Earlier: A construction worker was killed on I-66 early this morning after a passing vehicle hit him while he was checking on drivers involved in a separate, two-vehicle crash, Virginia State Police said.

Police are currently asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating a maroon vehicle that drove through an I-66 work zone just east of the Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) exit in Oakton around 1 a.m.

The vehicle was traveling “at a high rate of speed” when it hit the construction worker, who has been identified as 32-year-old Culpeper resident Jonathan W. Franzell, the VSP said.

According to police, the fatal crash was preceded by a collision between two other vehicles at approximately 12:58 a.m.

At approximately 12:58 a.m., a Honda Accord and Ford Taurus collided in the eastbound lanes of I-66 near Exit 60. The driver of the Ford Taurus fled the scene on foot. State police is investigating that crash and working to locate the driver. The driver of the Honda Accord suffered minor injuries and was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital.

This crash occurred in an active highway work zone and was witnessed by one of the workers. The worker reported to his supervisor that he was going to check on the drivers, exited his work vehicle and ran over to the crash scene.

While checking on the driver of the Honda, a maroon vehicle came through the work zone at a high rate of speed and struck the worker. The vehicle then fled the scene.

Franzell died from his injuries at the crash scene.

The VSP says debris from the maroon vehicle collected at the scene suggests it was a 2013-2015 maroon or burgundy Chevrolet Malibu.

“The Malibu will be missing its driver’s side mirror and have substantial damage to the front driver’s side,” police said.

VSP advises anyone who may have witnessed the crash or have other information about the Chevrolet to call 703-803-0026 or email questions@vsp.virginia.gov. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Franzell is the 28th pedestrian killed by a vehicle crash in Fairfax County this year, by FFXnow’s count. Virginia crash data shows 25 fatalities for this year, but it has recorded only one so far in November, when there were at least three fatal pedestrian crashes, and none yet for December.

This is the second fatal pedestrian crash in the county this week, following the death of 66-year-old Falls Church resident Kamrul Hassan on Route 50 on Sunday (Dec. 4).

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