Tractor-trailer driver dead after Outer Loop crash near I-66

The driver of a tractor-trailer is dead after a crash and fire on the Outer Loop of the Capital Beltway in Virginia’s Fairfax County early Thursday.

All lanes of Beltway reopened just before 9:30 a.m. Two lanes had reopened just after 6 a.m. The morning commute saw some heavy delays as a result of the closures.

All of the lanes near near I-66/Exit 49 were closed for more than four hours. During that time, ramps from I-66 to the Outer Loop were closed, as was the ramp to the Express Lanes. Early on, eastbound I-66 also was closed.

Virginia State Police said they reported to the Dunn Loring crash at 1:49 a.m.

The driver, who has not been named, died at the scene. The driver’s remains have been taken to the medical examiner’s office in Manassas for autopsy and positive identification. The crash remains under investigation.

“The trailer struck the cement barrier, which ruptured the truck’s saddle (fuel) tank. This caused the vehicle to catch fire and become engulfed in flames. The impact with the barrier wall also dislodged the vehicle’s axles, which ended up blocking several travel lanes,” said Corinne N. Geller, spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police.

Below is a map of the area of the crash.

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli reported from the Capital Beltway.

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Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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