Wild car crash caught on Fairfax police dash cam video; officer barely escapes

Being a police officer is a dangerous job, and a crash during a traffic stop Monday in Fairfax County, Virginia, demonstrated just how dangerous the job can be.

It began shortly before noon on Monday when a Fairfax County Police Officer pulled a driver over on the Fairfax County Parkway.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, as the officer and driver spoke and gathered information, a teenager in a BMW M3 going more than 120 mph in the opposite direction lost control of their car, came across the median and struck the stopped car head-on.

“The vehicle lost control because cars can’t go that fast on the on the highway,” said Fairfax County Police Deputy Chief Bob Blakley.

In video of the crash captured by the officer’s dash cam, the officer can be seen running from the passenger side of the stopped car. He narrowly avoided becoming pinned between the two vehicles.

Blakley said when watching the video, what sticks out to him is what happened to the guardrail that the officer was standing in front of just seconds before the crash.

“I mean, [the car] must crush that guardrail, three to five feet,” Blakley said.

The police department said that miraculously, the crash only resulted in minor injuries. Both the driver of the car that was stopped and the officer were taken to the hospital and have since been released.

“When we all saw it, I realized, we realize how how lucky we were,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said of the video.

Davis said this video will be used to train new police officers on how to stay safe during traffic stops. Blakley said the officer’s decision to approach the car on the passenger side and his decision to run and not freeze before the crash, both potentially saved his life.

There were three teenagers inside the car, which police said caused the crash.

Both Davis and Blakley also hope this incident can be a learning moment for young drivers and a reminder for parents to speak with their kids about making safe decisions behind the wheel.

According to the department compared to last year, this year it has seen a 62% increase in the number of tickets handed out to young drivers for speeding and an increase of 98% when it comes to teens violating road signs and signals. Blakley also said the number of citations given to teens for not paying attention behind the wheel is up 181%.

Davis also said parents should also think carefully about what type of cars they buy for first time drivers.

“The car involved in that collision yesterday was a whole lot of car, a whole lot of car for an inexperienced driver,” Davis said.

Police said the high-school-aged driver who was accused of causing the crash has been charged with reckless driving.

The department is not identifying the officer.

“He’s just glad to be alive and hopefully home relaxing with a lottery ticket in his pocket,” Davis said.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up