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Driver charged with DUI, manslaughter after fatal pedestrian crash on Beltway

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

A driver involved in one of the two fatal pedestrian crashes that occurred on the Capital Beltway this past Sunday (March 10) was allegedly intoxicated and didn’t have a valid license, according to the Virginia State Police.

Carlos Nunez Morales, a 26-year-old Woodbridge resident, has been charged with driving under the influence, involuntary manslaughter and driving with a revoked or suspended license after police say he hit and killed a pedestrian on I-495 near the Telegraph Road exit in the Rose Hill area.

According to the VSP, Morales was driving a 2003 Dodge Ram in the westbound lanes of I-495 around 3:38 a.m. when he veered off the left side of the interstate and hit Gregory Bruington, Jr., who was changing a tire on a 2017 Volkswagen Golf parked on the highway’s left shoulder.

Bruington, a 30-year-old man from Newport News, died at the scene, and a 24-year-old, female passenger in the Volkswagen “was seriously injured,” a police spokesperson said in an update this morning (Thursday).

“Nunez Morales suffered minor injuries,” state police said. “He was not wearing a seat belt.”

The crash occurred just minutes before a separate crash in the eastbound lanes of I-495 near the same exit that also killed a pedestrian.

Around 3:53 a.m., responding state troopers came across a woman identified as Vanessa Schwartz, a 35-year-old Alexandria resident, lying in the interstate.

The VSP later reported that Schwartz had stepped into traffic and was hit by the driver of a 2005 Honda Accord that was traveling east on I-495 in the right-center lane

“The Accord was then struck by a 2021 Acura RDX, and the Accord then struck the jersey wall. A 2023 Nissan Rogue then struck the RDX,” police said.

Schwartz died at the scene.

Both of Sunday’s crashes on I-495 remain under investigation.

Fairfax County police are also still seeking information about a third fatal pedestrian crash that took place shortly after midnight on Sunday in Mount Vernon. In that crash, the driver of a 2015 Hyundai Sonata that had been reported stolen allegedly hit James Johnson, 63, of Hybla Valley on Janna Lee Avenue and fled the scene.

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