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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 12/13/2010

Dulles van linked to odd crashes

By Josh White
Josh White

The driver of a speeding SuperShuttle van left a trail of damaged vehicles as he fled at least six hit-and-run crashes along Interstate 66 and the Dulles Access Road on Monday morning, according to police in several jurisdictions.

Virginia State Police, Arlington County police and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police are trying to determine what led to the series of crashes along the route from Arlington to Dulles International Airport at about 9:30 a.m. The driver was arrested outside the airport's main terminal after authorities found the damaged blue van parked near the SuperShuttle offices.

Police identified the van's driver as Muhammad Teshale, 25, of the 4800 block of Kenmore Ave. in Alexandria. He was charged with one count of hit-and-run in Fairfax County. Additional charges are pending.

Law enforcement officials close to the investigation said the driver told police after his arrest that he "did it to be famous." The man allegedly drove the shuttle between 90 and 95 mph at times during his drive, which has a speed limit of 55 mph and passes through areas under construction.

The incident appears have begun when three hit-and-run crashes along Interstate 66 in Arlington were reported to the state police at 9:24 a.m., all linked to a blue SuperShuttle vehicle.

Corinne Geller, a state police spokeswoman, said the shuttle was heading westbound when it twice sideswiped the passenger side of a Dodge Charger. The shuttle then rear-ended a Chrysler Pacifica, which sent the Pacifica off the right side of the highway and into a ditch. The shuttle then rear-ended a taxi, sending it off the right side of the highway and into the guardrail.

The driver of the Pacifica -- a 33-year-old Centreville woman -- and her one-year-old daughter were transported to Arlington Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. None of the drivers or passengers in the other two vehicles were injured.

Four minutes later, state police learned of a fourth crash in the westbound lanes of I-66 at the Dulles Connector Road at about 9:28 a.m., when the SuperShuttle van rear-ended a 2006 Mercedes C240. Police said the van continued driving and got on the Dulles Access Road. The driver of the Mercedes, a 47-year-old woman of Alexandria, was not injured in the crash.

Geller said the crashes did not seriously affect traffic because the vehicles were all off the side of the road.

The trail continued, police said, when reports of hit-and-run incidents along the Dulles Access Road came in to the airports authority shortly thereafter. Courtney Mickalonis, an airports authority spokeswoman, said two separate drivers called in to report their vehicles being struck as they headed westbound toward the airport.

Police said Teshale was found at the airport with the damaged shuttle vehicle, but authorities do not know for certain why the crashes occurred.

"He was going at a high rate of speed," Geller said. "But there is no indication of motive."

Authorities also said they are unsure if there were any passengers in the shuttle as it drove westbound; there were no passengers with the driver when the vehicle was located and there have not been any reports of people being on board with him.

Ken Testani, a spokesman for Arizona-based SuperShuttle, said local authorities have contacted the company but that the company does not have many details. SuperShuttle officials are looking into the incident.

By Josh White  | December 13, 2010; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Josh White, Traffic Accidents, Virginia  
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Next: Woman, 19, killed in Md. crash


Muhammad Teshale??? Somehow I'm not surprised... I'll wager he was inspired by jihad.

Posted by: ProfessorPeabody | December 13, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I empathize with crash victims. And I don't condone reckless driving for any reason at all. But there may be more to this than meets the eye. Supershuttle drivers are under an assortment of pressures with regard to making enough money just to pay brand name fees to Super Shuttle. Let alone make living wage. The Super Shuttle business model creates various hardships that will cause the average individual to snap.

In response to this unfortunate incident the authorities investigating this may be moved to look into the interworkings of this company as it relates to the driver's so-called 'independent contractors' status.

Super Shuttle will respond to this incident in a manner that will suggest that due to the independent nature of the driver's business arrangement with Super Shuttle, they'll contend that they remain at an arms length of the daily operations of the loosely defined franchise owner driver.

More information regarding indentured servitude can be found on the the AFL-CIO website.

Posted by: dcdoug0963 | December 13, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

"In response to this unfortunate incident the authorities investigating this may be moved to look into the interworkings of this company as it relates to the driver's so-called 'independent contractors' status."

And in plain English, I think this gobbledegook means that although a Muslim driver idiot drove a van at 95 mph rear-ending and running off the road the cars of six American Citizens, putting at risk women and children, over a distance of 10 miles, the AFL-CIO is going to sue the company for "slavery."

Hummm...and the AFL-CIO contributed to which candidate? And, when is the next election?

Posted by: wjc1va | December 13, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

There is definitely something fishy about the whole super shuttle operation. It has sort of a 3rd world ambiance where corruption and exploitation seem to be lurking just below or above the surface. I've have some rather disconcerting experience it seems almost every time I use it. Yet they dominate airport ground transportation across the nation. It needs to be looked into.

Posted by: vmax02rider | December 13, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

AFL-CIO - always finding a way to insert themselves into this and make a buck. Sheesh.

Millions of people work difficult jobs and don't go crazy in the process. I worked for half of minimum wage for years on Capitol Hill and survived sleeping on a friend's sofa. I put in 18 hours a day sometimes. I didn't go rocketing down the road running people off the road.

The guy's nuts and it has nothing to do with whether or not he's in a union.

Posted by: mwcob | December 14, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

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