2 Dead After SUV, Taxi Collide in Virginia

24-year-old Herndon man charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter

Sunday, Jun 2, 2013  |  Updated 9:01 AM EDT
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Derrick Ward

A taxi cab involved in a fatal accident on the Fairfax County Parkway Saturday morning is hauled away.

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A Herndon man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after two people were killed in a crash that involved an SUV and a taxi cab and shut down the northbound side of the Fairfax County Parkway early Saturday morning.

Police say the accident happened at approximately 1:44 a.m. on the parkway near the intersection of Sugarland Valley Drive. Investigators say that 24-year-old Manuel Alejandro Jimenez Benitez was driving south when he crossed into the northbound lanes while driving his Chevrolet Trailblazer "at an excessive speed."

The two passengers in the taxi, identified as two men living in Sterling and aged 29 and 34 years, were pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities say neither man was wearing a seatbelt. The names of the men are being withheld pending notification of next of kin. Investigators say that the families of both men live outside the United States and have not yet been located or notified.

The drivers of both vehicles were taken to a local hospital; their conditions were not immediately known. The cab driver was identified as a 47-year-old Herndon man who was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Benitez was also taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital with non life-threatening injuries following the crash. Police have charged him with two counts of aggravated involuntary manslaughter and Benitez will be taken into custody following his release from the hospital. Detectives believe that both speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

The northbound lanes were reopened by police shortly before 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

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