2 drivers charged in Saturday’s fatal I-66 crash as investigation continues

Scene of fatal crash on I-66
Photo shows the scene of the fatal crash on I-66 Saturday morning. (Courtesy VDOT)

Police have identified the man who died in Saturday morning’s crash on Interstate 66 and have charged two drivers in the incident.

The crash happened shortly before 11 a.m. on the westbound lanes of I-66 east off exit 53 and sent a total of six people to the hospital. The crash closed the roadway for about 11 hours as police investigated.

Joseph M. Castellano of McLean, Virginia died on the scene, Virginia State Police said Sunday. His 28-year-old wife, who was the passenger in his car, is still being treated for life-threatening injuries. A GoFundMe account has been created to help with the costs of funeral and memorial services and hospital bills.

As the crash investigation continued into Sunday, Virginia State Police’s Corinne Geller clarified that there were a total of eight vehicles involved in Saturday’s crash. On Saturday, police said there were only seven vehicles involved.

The chain reaction crash involved five sedans, one SUV, a pickup truck and a tractor-trailer that overturned.

A 2007 BMW, driven by 40-year-old Jonathyn Bland, was traveling west on I-66 when it struck the vehicle in front of it.

The BMW then collided with the tractor-trailer, driven by 34-year-old Shahbaz Singh of Fairfax.

The tractor-trailer then collided with several vehicles — including a Toyota Rav4 — before overturning. The Toyota Rav4 went off the right side of I-66 and over the jersey wall and then caught on fire.

Bland and Singh were transported to Reston Hospital for treatment of their injuries. They were both charged with reckless driving.

Video shows the truck lying on its side in the roadway.

Three other people were transported to area hospitals with injuries.

Significant bailout delays developed on roads in Chantilly and in Centreville including Route 50, Route 29 and Braddock Road.

Drivers who were already on I-66 were diverted to Va. 286 via Exit 55. Drivers stuck between the point of diversion and the crash scene were guided by Virginia State Police into an emergency turnaround on the median strip and sent eastbound.

Some callers into the WTOP Traffic Center reported sitting in a standstill for more than an hour.

WTOP Traffic Reporter Dave Dildine said that the crash occurred in one of the most accident-prone sections of the highway.

“We often expect to see at least a couple wrecks per day in the westbound lanes as drivers merging from Fairfax County Parkway weave with drivers shifting right to exit at Route 28,” Dildine said.

“Jersey walls for the ongoing express lanes project are blocking much of the right shoulder on this portion of the highway, so when the crashes happen here, they immediately block lanes. Usually, they happen on the right side.”

Both Virginia State Police and the Fairfax County Crash Reconstruction Team are assisting with the crash investigation.

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