Dog, bees escape during multivehicle crash on I-495 in Fairfax County

WASHINGTON — Traffic was abuzz on the Capital Beltway near Fairfax County, Virginia, after a multivehicle crash unleashed a swarm of bees.

A dog was loose, too.

A Virginia State Police trooper walks a dog found at the scene of a crash on I-495. The dog belonged to a man driving a tractor-trailer carrying a pallets of honeybees, which had escaped. (Courtesy Virginia State Police)

It happened Wednesday around 4 p.m. on the northbound lanes of Interstate 495 after two vehicles had a minor fender-bender near Georgetown Pike.

As the drivers were moving out of the travel lanes, their vehicles were struck by a tractor-trailer that had veered into the Jersey wall, a Virginia State Police news release said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was unresponsive due to a medical emergency.

As the trooper and first responders were assessing the scene, they were swarmed by bees that came from the flatbed of the tractor trailer — it was carrying pallets of honey bees.

The crash caused the strap of one of the pallets to break, unleashing the bees.

As luck would have it, two experienced bee-handlers happened to be nearby and offered their assistance.

The bee-handlers put on their beekeeping suits, inspected the trailer, secured the load and captured the bees.

As if a swarm of bees on a highway wasn’t enough, a dog decided it wanted to get in on the action too.

A state trooper found a dog running loose at the scene. Turns out the dog belonged to the driver of the tractor-trailer, a 56-year-old man from Missouri.

The man was taken to the hospital and police said that he is expected to make a full recovery.

The drivers of the original crash were not hurt.


Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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