Three people are dead after a crash Thursday on Interstate 95 in Dale City, Virginia, that involved four cars and blocked the roadway for nearly seven hours.
Virginia State Police said a 2008 Dodge Avenger sedan, traveling north on I-95, reached speeds as high as 80 miles per hour when state troopers tried to pull the vehicle over just after 4:30 p.m.
However, the Dodge sped away as police ended their pursuit due to traffic.
Police said the Dodge continued north on I-95, entering the Express Lanes, which were only open to southbound traffic, when it broke three lighted Express Lanes gates at the entry.
As the Dodge drove onto the Express Lanes, it struck a Ford Ranger pickup truck that was heading southbound “head-on,” causing it to go over the guardrail. Two other cars crashed into the Dodge, causing it to catch fire.
Virginia State Police identified the people who died Friday morning.
Stephanie T. Morton, 46, of Richmond, who was driving the Dodge Avenger, died at the scene. Police said it was unknown if Morton was wearing a seatbelt.
The Dodge’s passenger, Tia O. Porter, 26, also of Richmond, was not wearing a seatbelt and died after being ejected from the car.
Kenneth E. Crosby Jr., 61, of Dumfries, the driver of a second car, died at the scene.
The driver of the third car was transported to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. The driver and passengers in the fourth car were treated for minor injuries at the crash scene, police said.
All lanes on I-95 reopened around 11:30 p.m. after portions were shut down for following the crash.
WTOP’s Dave Dildine said northbound and southbound traffic was backed up for more than seven miles on the mainline throughout the evening.
Video shows the violent crash on I-95 in the express lanes and the immediate state police response (Credit: u/BigDirtBottle) pic.twitter.com/F5nxOb50SB
— Dave Dildine (@DildineWTOP) March 19, 2021
Bailout traffic overwhelmed many other roads in Prince William County, including Prince William Parkway, Dale Boulevard, Minnieville Road, Smoketown Road and Route 1.
WTOP’s Dave Dildine contributed to this report.