ANNANDALE, Va. – Police identified the man who died in a head-on crash with a Fairfax County police cruiser as Cicero I. Limberea, 40.
Limberea, of no fixed address, died around 12:30 a.m. Thursday. Police say he was speeding the wrong way on Little River Turnpike on the Interstate 495 overpass when he struck a police cruiser. The 28-year-old officer was responding to police reports about a speeding SUV, police say.
“A vehicle was apparently traveling eastbound in the westbound lane for possibly several miles, coming from Fairfax City toward the Beltway,” Fairfax County Police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell tells WTOP.
“One of our officers was traveling, correctly, in the westbound lane, coming toward the situation and he was struck head-on.”
The fatal accident and police investigation closed Little River Turnpike between the Capital Beltway and Northern Virginia Community College for nearly six hours. Ramps to the Beltway also closed.
The officer from the Mason Police District is in Inova Fairfax Hospital in stable condition. Police say the crash trapped him in his cruiser and he had to be cut out of the car.
Police say they first encountered Limberea when they responded to a domestic call in the 4800 block of Tapestry Drive.
After an officer approached him and spoke with him, Limberea left and was then seen speeding down Roberts Road and turning into oncoming traffic on Little River Turnpike, a news release says.
“The individual almost struck several vehicles. Police want to hear from people in those near-misses,” Caldwell tells WTOP.
It’s too early in the investigation to tell whether alcohol was a factor, she says.
Anyone who saw Limberea traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of Little River Turnpike is asked to call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477. Information can be emailed to Crime Solvers. Police say people with information may text “TIP187″ plus their message to CRIMES/274637 or call police at 703-691-2131.
Both directions of Little River Turnpike at the Capital Beltway were closed for nearly six hours as police investigated the head-on crash. (WTOP/Kristi King)