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I-95 incident a chain of crashes

Traffic on northbound I-95 was at a standstill for more than an hour on Monday -- and delayed for at least three -- and it wasn't just a simple accident that caused the problem near Dale City. According to the Virginia State Police, multiple crashes occurred, leaving six people injured including a state trooper.

According to police, this is what happened:

It all began with a disabled Mercedes that pulled onto the shoulder. A driver in a Toyota 4Runner pulled over to help, and the Mercedes and the 4Runner were sideswiped by a Toyota Corolla.

At 1:27 p.m. Trooper E.D. Brown Jr. responded to investigate the accident, and shortly thereafter a driver in a Toyota Tundra also stopped to help.

At 1:43 p.m. a Dodge Neon was slowing as it approached the scene and was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer that failed to brake in time, police said. The Neon lost control, striking the trooper's vehicle and the trooper. That crash caused the patrol car to push forward and pin the driver and the passenger of the Corolla and the Toyota Tundra, who had all been standing outside of their cars, against the guardrail.

Meanwhile, police said, the tractor-trailer swerved, struck another tractor-trailer and rear-ended a Toyota Camry. Authorities said the first tractor-trailer and the Toyota Camry stopped at the scene, but they are still searching for the driver of the second tractor-trailer, who left the scene.

Six individuals, including two passengers, were transported to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Brown, 30, suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

The driver of the first tractor-trailer, Donnell Hendricks, 52, of North Carolina, was not injured and has been charged with reckless driving for failure to maintain control due to inadequate brakes, police said.

One northbound lane reopened at 2:52 p.m., but it was 4:52 before all lanes were opened. State police say the crashes remain under investigation.

From the Post's archives:
Accident scene cleared on I-95

By Michael Bolden  | October 5, 2010; 12:47 PM ET
Categories:  Northern Virginia, Virginia  
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does this sound like an episode of the three stooges to anyone else? No offense to those injured...

Posted by: spkdc | October 5, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

What is it with Toyotas in this story?

Posted by: jwash4472 | October 5, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Wanna bet one of the idiots at fault was texting or talking on a cell phone?

Posted by: glasgowafb | October 5, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

The initial crash caused by the truck and faulty brakes was correctly charged...My problem is with the other two vehicles stopped to help...after the trooper arrived he should have instructed the vehicles that stopped to help to leave...

Posted by: pentagon40 | October 5, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

People need to think about how they would act before they're in an emergency situation. I wonder if anyone's published a list of safety steps. Here are some suggestions off the top of my head:

Make sure you always know where your insurance and registration papers are. You'll want to be able to get them out quickly in an emergency.

If you can safely move your car out of the roadway, do so.

If you're stopped on the shoulder or in the roadway you're probably not safe. If you can get out of your car safely, do that. Don't sit in your car to write out insurance information.

Consider climbing across your car rather than opening a door into traffic.

If you're out of your car, get as far as you can from traffic. If there's a guardrail you might want to climb over it.

Think about which way your car would move if it were rear-ended. Position yourself so you wouldn't be in the path of shrapnel. For instance if you're car's at risk of being rear-ended you don't want to stand in front of it.

Posted by: cooperda | October 5, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

the toyotas are mad because they come from the country with the sad distinction of being the last country in the world to lose a war with the USA

Posted by: getjiggly1 | October 6, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

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