UPDATED: Van was traveling erratically before chase, wreck

High speed chase 95

High speed chase 95

Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 8:17 am

Updated: 3:54 pm, Tue Mar 11, 2014.

UPDATED: Van was traveling erratically before chase, wreck


A high-speed pursuit that ended in a dramatic wreck on Interstate 95 in Dale City early Tuesday started as a traffic stop for erratic driving on U.S. 1, Fort Belvoir officials say.

A Fort Belvoir police officer noticed a 2009 Toyota Sienna driving erratically on U.S. 1 near the Gunston Road bridge around 2 a.m., base officials said in a news release. The officer also noticed a taillight on the van was out, so he attempted to stop the driver, who sped off.

“The police officer contacted Belvoir police dispatch to report the attempted traffic stop and alert the dispatcher to the vehicle leaving Belvoir’s jurisdiction,” the news release.

State police and Fairfax police were notified.

“In the interest of public safety due to the erratic operation of the vehicle, the police officer continued pursuit under the instructions of the dispatcher,” the news release said.

The van sped down U.S. 1 and got onto southbound I-95 with the Belvoir officer following.

The driver was traveling at “excessive speeds,” weaving through traffic and braking erratically, the news release said.

As the van approached the Dale City exit, at speeds in excess of 100 mph, the driver lost control, struck a guardrail and overturned onto the left shoulder, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said. The minivan came to rest on its roof.

Four people inside the van were ejected onto the roadway, and everyone in the van was injured. A 15-year-old girl suffered life-threatening injuries, Geller said. The other six suffered serious injuries but are expected to survive, she said.

Five helicopters were landed to take all seven to trauma centers. Five were flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital and two to Washington Hospital Center, Geller said.

State police late Tuesday morning were still trying to identify everyone in the van. The driver was believed to be a woman in her early 20s. The passengers included a 23-year-old man, a 21-year-old man, a 17-year-old boy and three 15-year-old girls, Geller said.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014 8:17 am.

Updated: 3:54 pm.

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