Police are still looking for a driver who fired multiple gunshots at other vehicles on the Capital Beltway (I-495) in the Annandale area on Sunday (March 19).
The shooting was preceded by “aggressive driving behaviors” by occupants of a Mercedes and a silver Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that were traveling north on I-495 shortly after 5 p.m. that day, according to the Virginia State Police.
“Words and gestures were exchanged between the two vehicles,” the VSP said in a news release today (Friday). “As the two vehicles passed under the Route 236 overpass on I-495, the front seat passenger in the Mercedes fired multiple rounds at the Silverado. The Mercedes then continued north on I-495.”
While the Silverado wasn’t hit, a bullet struck a vehicle headed south in the I-495 Express Lanes. Police confirmed that there were no injuries.
The VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Fairfax Field Office shared a photo that it believes shows the Mercedes driven by the shooter. The photo was taken from a video captured by a driver who isn’t involved in the shooting incident.
“The suspect vehicle has been identified as a matte-finish charcoal gray Mercedes E-Class AMG sedan with a sunroof and tinted windows,” police said.
The VSP hopes to “generate additional leads on the suspect vehicle,” advising anyone who potentially witnessed the shooting and “road rage behaviors,” or who might know the people involved to call 703-803-0026 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Anonymous tips are welcome,” police said.
Virginia State Police joined with the Fairfax County Police Department last week for a “Road Shark” campaign intended to step up enforcement and educational efforts to combat aggressive driving.
The initial phase of the campaign lasted one week, from March 13-19, but it’s expected to resume three more times this year.
Image via VDOT/Twitter
A person in a sedan reportedly fired multiple gunshots at other vehicles on the Capital Beltway (I-495) in the Annandale area yesterday afternoon (Sunday).
The Virginia State Police received a report at 5:10 p.m. of “an individual in a sedan firing several shots at vehicles while traveling north” on the Beltway near the exit to Little River Turnpike, according to a news release.
The gunfire hit one vehicle, but no injuries were reported, police said.
“The northbound travel lanes were temporarily closed so troopers could search for shell casings and any additional evidence related to this incident,” the VSP said.
According to police, the vehicle was seen continuing north on I-495. Traffic was detoured onto a service road for Little River Turnpike for about half an hour as police investigated.
The VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Fairfax Field Office is still investigating the incident.
“Anyone who may have witnessed the shooting and/or have information related to this incident is encouraged to call the Virginia State Police at 703-803-0026 or by email at email@example.com,” police said.
#Fairfax: NB I-495 shut down at Little River Turnpike (Rt 236) for @VSPPIO activity. Traffic being detoured via Rt 236 service road, then back on to I-495. Activity not expected to last long. Expect delays. #VaTraffic pic.twitter.com/fbKcrq48u7
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) March 19, 2023
Don’t be surprised if you notice more cops on the road in the coming days.
The Fairfax County Police Department wants its officers to make their presence known this week with a “Road Shark” campaign intended to crack down on and deter aggressive and unsafe driving behaviors, such as speeding and distracting phone usage.
Joined by the Virginia State Police, which will also participate, the police department officially launched the first, week-long phase of the campaign yesterday (Monday).
“Traffic safety is community safety,” FCPD Deputy Chief for Operations Robert Blakley said outside the county’s Public Safety Headquarters. “…This offers us the opportunity to remind everybody to look down at that speedometer, set their mobile phone down and pay full time and attention to the conditions around them to increase traffic safety on our roadways.”
First introduced in 1999, Road Shark was supplanted over the years by other programs, but the FCPD has decided to revive it after the county saw an alarming increase in pedestrian fatalities last year.
There has been an increase in reckless driving throughout the county, including at the meet-ups of car enthusiasts that have become popular around the D.C. region, according to Blakley.
Already this week, police broke up an informal car meet on Willard Road in Chantilly after getting reports of “several cars driving recklessly,” the FCPD said in a Facebook post:
When officers tried to stop the cars from leaving, a 2001 BMW struck two marked Fairfax County Police cruisers. Officers took the 22-year-old driver into custody. He was charged with two counts of attempted malicious wounding of law enforcement, two counts of hit and run, driving while intoxicated and no operator’s license. He was held without bond. Thankfully, no officers or community members were hurt.
Blakley said the police department doesn’t have an issue with car meets, but participants should “respect the rules of private property and the laws on public highways and drive in a manner that’s safe and responsible and not going to get someone hurt or even killed.”
For the Road Shark campaign, officers have been instructed to be vigilant throughout their daily shifts for traffic violations, including speeding, distracted driving, school zone-related issues, and attempts to run red lights.
The campaign will particularly focus on locations known to see frequent crashes and other safety issues. Blakley pointed to Fairfax County Parkway and Popes Head Road in Fairfax Station as an example.
Though enforcement is a major component, officers won’t necessarily issue more citations or warnings, Blakley said. Instead, the FCPD hopes that its increased visibility in the community — including having crime prevention and traffic safety officers work with local schools — will lead people to adjust how they drive.
The campaign will be conducted in four phases during this year, with this week marking the first phase.
“The majority of people who drive too fast or maybe make an unsafe lane change, they’re probably distracted or not intending to drive aggressively,” Blakley said. “…When we engage in high-visibility enforcement — lots of police, lots of blue lights throughout the area — it causes us to remember. ‘I’m going to watch my speedometer, I’m going to pay attention.’ And that’s really the goal of this whole campaign.”
A 26-year-old man from Vienna died on Saturday (March 3) after crashing in the Rosslyn tunnel on I-66.
Virginia State Police are now investigating the single-vehicle crash in Arlington County, including to determine whether “excessive speed” was a contributing factor, according to a news release.
The driver, Talaat Hamooh, died while being transported to a hospital. A passenger identified as Hussain Aljahdali sustained minor injuries.
The full VSP news release is below.
At 3:37 a.m. on Saturday (March 3), Virginia State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on westbound I-66 at the Rosslyn Tunnel.
A 2018 Range Rover was traveling west on I-66 when it ran off the right side of the road and struck a jersey wall just before the tunnel. It then traveled into the tunnel and overturned.
The driver, Talaat B. Hamooh, 26, of Vienna, Va., died during transport. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle.
A passenger, Hussain A. Aljahdali, 29, of Arlington, Va., sustained minor injuries in the crash. He was wearing a seatbelt.
Excessive speed is being investigated as a contributing factor in the crash. The crash remains under investigation.
The Virginia State Police is seeking the public’s help to identify a driver who died after crashing an allegedly stolen car into a cement wall on the I-495 Express Lanes near I-66 this morning (Friday).
The black 2018 Maserati Quattroporte sedan was headed “the wrong way at an excessive rate of speed” when it hit the cement jersey wall in the northbound express lanes at Exit 49 at 4:30 a.m., police said.
“The impact of the crash caused the vehicle to immediately catch fire,” VSP said. “The driver did not survive the crash and the body is being transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Manassas for autopsy, examination and positive identification.”
The driver was the only occupant of the sedan, which had been reported stolen in Prince George’s County, according to police.
The state police asks anyone who might’ve seen the Maserati driving south in the northbound toll lanes before the crash or who has information on the driver’s potential identity to call 703-803-0026 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fairfax County Police Department recovered a vehicle it was searching for last night (Wednesday) with the help of the Virginia State Police, which arrested the driver after an intense pursuit on I-395.
The 2006 Cadillac sedan landed on the FCPD’s radar on Jan. 29, when one of its officers pulled the vehicle over for a traffic violation around 8:25 p.m.
“The officer approached the car and during the encounter, the driver fled at a high rate of speed,” the police department told FFXnow.
The officer opted not to pursue the car after identifying the driver and owner as Nelson Bowman, a 31-year-old D.C. resident, the FCPD says. Instead, the officer got a felony warrant for speeding to elude law enforcement, which was entered into the national and state criminal information databases.
That information led a Virginia State Police trooper to flag the car at 8:55 p.m. yesterday on northbound I-395. An automated license plate reader notified the trooper that the vehicle was wanted by Fairfax County police.
“The trooper activated his emergency lights and sirens to initiate a traffic stop, but the Cadillac refused to pull over and sped away northbound on I-395,” VSP said. “A pursuit was initiated.”
During the chase, the Cadillac “rammed” one of the pursuing trooper’s vehicles, pushing it off the interstate and into a jersey wall, according to a state police news release. The trooper was taken to a hospital for an evaluation and treatment of “minor injuries.”
The chase concluded when the sedan stopped on the George Washington Parkway near Route 50 in Arlington County, per state police:
The pursuit ended when the Cadillac stopped on the George Washington Parkway near Route 50. The driver fled on foot. The driver was apprehended a short time later and taken into custody. A passenger was also taken into custody and later released. A handgun was recovered from inside the Cadillac.
State police charged the driver of the Cadillac, Nelson Bowman, 31, of Washington, D.C., with one felony malicious wounding on law enforcement, one felony assault of a law enforcement officer, one felony count of eluding police, one felony count of illegal possession of a concealed firearm, one felony count of hit and run, one felony count of destruction of property and one misdemeanor count of obstruction of justice.
A single-vehicle crash involving a tractor-trailer brought the Capital Beltway (I-495) in McLean to a standstill yesterday (Sunday) afternoon.
The tractor-trailer was traveling south on I-495 when it crashed near the Georgetown Pike exit, the Virginia State Police said. The impact of the crash caused the vehicle to catch fire.
Police responded to the scene around 1:06 p.m., closing all southbound I-495 lanes and diverting traffic onto Georgetown Pike.
“The driver was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries,” the VSP said in a news release. “The crash remains under investigation.”
More than two hours after the crash, traffic queues stretched north into Maryland, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. It wasn’t until around 6 p.m. that the first lane on I-495 was able to reopen.
Update: 495SB at Georgetown Pike still closed due to tractor trailer fire. Traffic is being diverted onto Georgetown Pike. Seek alternate routes. https://t.co/R2KG2cljs7 pic.twitter.com/gAE4qtBO5d
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) January 8, 2023
Updated at 11:40 a.m. on 12/9/2022 — The 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.
. @ffxnow https://t.co/5l3TmjgEOT pic.twitter.com/53lYE0IqH4
— Alan Henney (@alanhenney) December 8, 2022
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 email@example.com. 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).
(Updated at 11:35 a.m. on 12/5/2022) A tractor-trailer driver died tonight after being hit by an SUV on the Capital Beltway (I-495) near Braddock Road.
According to Virginia State Police, the tractor-trailer driver had exited his vehicle after he collided with a sedan on northbound I-495 approaching the Braddock Road exit in North Springfield, sending the sedan into the left shoulder of the toll lanes.
“The driver of the tractor-trailer exited his vehicle and was running across the Express Lanes towards the sedan when he was struck by an SUV traveling north in the Express Lanes,” VSP said in a news release.
Troopers responded to the crash at 7:53 p.m., and the tractor-trailer driver was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he ultimately died. Police have identified him as Richard F. Alburger, Jr., 41, of Summit Hill, Pennsylvania.
Alburger was attempting to change lanes when his 2019 Freightliner tractor-trailer struck a 1985 Buick Century, according to police.
“Due to the impact of the crash, the Buick spun and struck the bollards and jersey wall on the left side of the road,” VSP said, noting that the drivers of the Buick and the SUV weren’t injured.
All northbound I-495 lanes were closed to traffic, as police investigate the crash. A Fairfax Alert said to expect extended delays.
CRITICAL INJURY PEDESTRIAN STRUCK: I-495 North (Beltway Inner Loop) just past Braddock Road (Exit 54). ~7:45PM Wednesday, pedestrian struck at the scene of a previous minor crash. Pedestrian transported to an area Trauma Center in critical condition. #VATraffic #DCTraffic
— Cordell (@CordellTraffic) December 1, 2022
One person is dead and another critically injured after a car apparently going well over the speed limit drove off an I-95 ramp in Springfield, crashed into trees, landed on a separate highway ramp and collided with another vehicle on Monday (Nov. 14).
According to the Virginia State Police, which responded to the crash at 11:16 a.m., the incident began as 19-year-old Bryan Osorto-Tejeda of Fredericksburg drove a 2013 Honda Accord north on I-95, taking the ramp to go west on Franconia Road (Route 644) “at a high rate of speed.”
“The Honda then ran off the left side of the road, through the guardrail and became airborne,” the VSP said in a news release yesterday. “As it traveled, it struck several trees, overturned and landed on the ramp from Route 644 to I-395 north where it was struck by a 2018 Toyota Highlander which subsequently struck the jersey wall.”
Update: Both ramps expected to be closed for a few more hours. Continue to seek alternate routes. https://t.co/fEzpiKQjiK
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) November 14, 2022
The Honda’s passenger — identified as Odaly Y. Hernandez, 19, of Woodbridge — died at the scene after being “ejected from the vehicle,” according to police, who say she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
Osorto-Tejeda was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital with serious injuries. State police said he was also not wearing a seatbelt and got ejected from the car.
The driver and three passengers in the Toyota, including a 3-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy, were taken to a hospital to receive treatment for minor injuries, according to VSP. They were all wearing seatbelts or “age appropriate safety restraints,” in the case of the kids, police said.
“The preliminary investigation suggests the vehicle was traveling in excess of 100 mph,” VSP spokesperson Shelby Crouch told FFXnow.
The speed limit on I-95 and I-395 at the Route 644 interchange is 55 mph, according to VDOT’s speed limits map.
VSP says it is investigating “extreme speed” as a contributing factor and has charged Osorto-Tejeda with failure to maintain proper control.
Virginia classifies reckless driving as a Class 1 misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $250, but it can be elevated to a Class 6 felony if the person convicted had their driver’s license suspended or revoked at the time and the reckless driving directly caused a fatality.
There have been at least two other fatal crashes at the I-95/Route 644 interchange this year: one in May where a driver died after their vehicle caught fire and a hit-and-run in October, where an allegedly intoxicated driver killed a pedestrian whose car was disabled.
Image via Google Maps