Two people were flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital and several others were transported to area hospitals after two chain-reaction accidents happened within seconds of each other on Interstate 95 on Saturday afternoon, according to Virginia State Police.
The first accident was near the Va. 234 exit in the middle lane of southbound I-95 around 1:45 p.m., when a 60-year-old Florida man struck a car in stopped traffic, which jolted that car into the car in front, said Trooper David Walker, a police spokesman.
Moments later a tow truck, also in the middle lane, abruptly slowed for the bumper-to-bumper traffic, which created smoke from his locked-up tires, Walker said.
The driver of the vehicle behind him saw the smoke, he said, and applied his breaks. But the weight of a trailer he was pulling pushed it forward into the tow truck.
Before that, a 25-year-old Bumpass woman driving her Dodge Neon behind the trailer tried to go around it, but the trailer swerved on impact and hit the driver's side door, causing significant damage, he said.
Three passengers in the car pulling the trailer were flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital, two to Mary Washington Hospital and another was taken to Potomac Hospital, all with non life-threatening injuries, Walker said. The driver of the Neon was also taken to an area hospital to be treated.
A 12-year-old girl was the only one from the first accident who was taken to a hospital to be treated, Walker said. She had already been released several hours after the accident.
Southbound I-95 was shutdown for over an hour because of the accident, Walker said.
Robert Long of North Carolina, who was driving the vehicle pulling the trailer, was charged with reckless driving partly because of the amount of damage caused, Walker said.
The driver of the car that caused the first accident, Ralph Jennett, was charged with following too closely behind a car.