1 killed, 3 hurt in crash that closed I-95 in Virginia for 6 hours

A multivehicle crash shuts down I-95 in Virginia on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Courtesy NBC Washington)

One person was killed and three others hurt in a multivehicle crash near Triangle, Virginia, that closed Interstate 95 for nearly six hours Wednesday during the early morning commute.

At around 1:15 a.m., police were notified about a crash involving a contracted Virginia Department of Transportation truck hired to treat the roads.

The truck was traveling in the right lane of northbound I-95 when it was rear-ended by a Dodge Ram that was pulling a fifth-wheel trailer.

At the time of the crash, the truck was not treating the roads but did have its lights activated.

The impact of the crash caused the lights of the trailer to go out. Minutes later, and as police were responding to the scene, a Subaru traveling north on the right lane swerved to avoid the trailer but struck its rear, causing the Subaru to catch fire.

A trooper pulled 60-year-old driver Cindy N. Scheett, of Newport News, Virginia, from the burning Subaru. Scheett, who was wearing a seat belt, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Police identified the driver of the Dodge Ram as 43-year-old Kenneth R. Shiley, of New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, and passenger Chad D. Shifflett, 42, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Both were not wearing seat belts, police said. Shiley was taken to the hospital with serious injuries; Shifflett died at the scene.

Truck driver Anduamlak Donduela, 37, of D.C., was wearing a seat belt, and he was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The cause of the original crash is under investigation, and police said weather appears to have been a factor.

Police said charges are pending.

The incident closed all northbound lanes between Marine Corps Base Quantico (Exit 148) and Va. 619/Triangle (Exit 150), a Virginia State Police spokesman told WTOP.

Some drivers were trapped in standstill traffic beyond the diversion point at 1 a.m. Those drivers were allowed to pass just before 7 a.m.

The diversion at Exit 148 was lifted around 7:20 a.m. All lanes were opened around 8:40 a.m.

For the latest road and traffic conditions, see WTOP’s traffic page or listen to updates every 10 minutes online or on the air at 103.5 FM. Submit traffic tips by calling 866-304-WTOP or tagging @WTOPtraffic on Twitter.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein, Rich Hunter, Teddy Gelman, Luke Lukert, Will Vitka and Abigail Constantino contributed to this report.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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