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GW Parkway police chase ends in Potomac River plunge

Northbound lanes were closed at the George Washington Parkway before the Memorial Bridge due to police activity Sunday afternoon. Arlington County police said that a car crashed into the water and a suspect connected to a robbery was taken into custody. Roads reopened after almost five hours of investigation.

Northbound lanes were closed at the George Washington Parkway in Virginia Sunday afternoon for almost five hours after Arlington County police apprehended a robbery suspect following a pursuit that ended with the suspect’s SUV crashing into the Potomac River.

Delays were reported all the way back to Reagan National Airport heading onto Arlington Memorial Bridge, as the lanes were closed while police investigated.

Annie Saum was walking on the trail along the GW Parkway when she saw the chase.

“Next thing I know, there’s a crowd gathering and the car’s going under.” Saum said that the driver of the SUV was speeding. When the car went into the water, it sank like a stone and police quickly caught the suspect.

“I saw a guy jump into the water and pull a guy out,” Saum said. The suspect was then arrested on the hood of a car, she said.

Arlington County police said that the suspect was involved in an armed robbery on the 2600 block of Columbia Pike. The suspect entered a business around 5:13 p.m., brandished a firearm and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Police saw the suspect vehicle and pursued it, ending with the vehicle plunging in the river near the Interstate 395 exit.

The suspect, who was identified as 33-year-old Freddie Lee McRae of Temple Hills, Maryland, was taken to the hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening.

No other injuries or damages were reported, and police believe there are no other suspects.

Traffic from Reagan National was diverted to I-395 during this busy travel weekend.

Crews from D.C. Fire and EMS assisted Arlington County Fire Department with the operation.

Below is the area of the crash.


For the latest traffic conditions, visit the WTOP traffic page.

The Associated Press and WTOP’s Dave Dildine contributed to this report from Arlington, Virginia.

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