A large group of motorcyclists converged on the Capital Beltway, disrupting traffic Sunday afternoon by crowding lanes, driving dangerously and even raising smoke while doing stunts.
WASHINGTON — A large group of motorcyclists converged on the Capital Beltway, disrupting traffic at times Sunday afternoon by crowding lanes, driving dangerously and even raising smoke while doing stunts.
The group peacefully convened in a park and ride off the Beltway in Oxon Hill late Sunday morning. Around 1 p.m., the group, initially numbering in the hundreds, poured onto the Outer Loop of the Beltway.
Between Oxon Hill and Landover, some of the participants began driving on shoulders, driving the wrong way on ramps, lane-splitting and preforming wheelies and burnouts.
Maryland State Police were in position ahead of — and paced behind — the group, which was large enough to be spread out over a couple of miles. Other jurisdictions involved included police from Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and, eventually, Virginia State Police.
At one point, traffic came to a stop at the Outer Loop between Arena Drive and Landover Road, although the stoppage was brief and may have been related to a crash that occurred at the time the group passed by. Rescue response later arrived at the scene and blocked the left side.
As various smaller groups began to peel off, the main group moved into Montgomery County around 2 p.m. Another crash occurred as the activity advanced past Colesville Road. A rescue response stopped all traffic briefly after arriving at the scene to consolidate the damaged vehicles.
More than 100 motorcyclists made their way farther around the Outer Loop into Virginia, stopping on the shoulders and service road near Georgetown Pike for about 15 minutes. A few bikers were observed driving the wrong way and performing burnouts at the time. An accident occurred around this time in the left lane. Rescue personnel from Fairfax County responded to the scene a few minutes after the bikers dispersed.
Some of the motorcyclists apparently completed a full loop around the Beltway in just over an hour.
In all, the WTOP Traffic Center received several reports of crashes that took place in the area of the motorcyclist group, in addition to illegal activity including driving on shoulders, driving the wrong way and stunts including wheelies and burning rubber.
There were several more unconfirmed crashes reported. By Sunday evening, there were still smaller groups roving around the suburbs.
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