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JUST IN: Man charged with hit and run after crashing into numerous vehicles on Capital Beltway

The scene of a multi-vehicle crash south of Georgetown Pike on I-495 from a traffic camera (via VDOT)

A Falls Church man has been charged with a hit and run after crashing into multiple vehicles on the Capital Beltway (I-495) in McLean yesterday (Thursday), bringing traffic during the afternoon rush-hour to a halt.

In footage from a Virginia Department of Transportation traffic camera shared by public safety blogger Dave Statter, the driver of a white van was captured plowing into several northbound vehicles and then jumping over the median to the interstate’s southbound lanes around 4 p.m.

The incident began near the 44-mile marker at Georgetown Pike when the northbound 2012 Chevrolet Express van rear-ended a vehicle at the end of the I-495 Express Lanes, according to the Virginia State Police, which responded at 4:03 p.m.

“When it came to the end of the Express Lanes and encountered stopped traffic, the van failed to brake in time and rear-ended a vehicle,” VSP spokesperson Corinne Geller told FFXnow. “That sparked a multi-vehicle chain reaction crash. No injuries were reported in this incident.”

According to police, the driver pulled away from the crash and attempted to flee the scene, hitting more vehicles in the process:

As the van pulled away from that crash and tried to flee the scene, it struck several additional vehicles before it finally came to a stop, wedging itself, a passenger vehicle and a tractor-trailer against one another. The van’s driver then fled the scene on foot. With the assistance of Fairfax County Police, state police established a search perimeter in the immediate area. Fairfax County Police apprehended the driver and took him into custody.

Three people sustained “minor injuries” in the second set of crashes, the VSP said. The exact location of those crashes hasn’t been confirmed yet, but a traffic camera that caught the scene yesterday was listed as being near Old Dominion Drive.

Identified as Hernan de Jesus Ayala, 33, the driver has been charged with hit and run and failing to wear a seat belt by state police.

The Fairfax County Police Department didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry about whether it has filed any charges of its own. Police scanner traffic suggested that Ayala had a pocket knife, but VSP didn’t confirm that in its statement to FFXnow.

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