Three people were killed in a fiery four-vehicle crash when a driver eluding police entered the Interstate 95 express lanes in the wrong direction in Prince William County, Virginia, Thursday afternoon.
A Virginia State Police trooper attempted to stop a speeding 2008 Dodge Avenger on I-95 North in Spotsylvania County about 4:30 p.m., police said. The driver refused to stop, and the trooper ended the pursuit after about two minutes due to heavy traffic as the driver sped away on the left shoulder.
State police further north began another pursuit of the Dodge, which was driven through three gates to the express lanes, which were switched for southbound traffic only, police said. Police did not follow the Dodge into the express lanes.
The Dodge struck a southbound Ford Ranger head on, causing the Ford to drive over a guardrail, police said.
The Dodge collided with two other vehicles and caught fire, police said.
The woman driving the Dodge died at the scene, police said. Another woman in the car was ejected and died at the scene.
The man driving the Ford also died at the scene, police said.
The driver of the third car involved in the crash was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver and two passengers in the fourth car were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
The crash caused backups of 7 miles northbound and more than miles southbound. Delays have eased significantly.