United States

Tanker Driver Cited With Reckless Driving in Beltway Crash That Crippled DC Area Traffic for Hours

Lanes on the Inner Loop of the Beltway were closed for nearly 12 hours, creating a traffic nightmare that rippled through the D.C. area

The driver of a tanker truck that overturned on the Beltway and caused a traffic nightmare throughout the region Thursday was cited with reckless driving and having faulty brakes.

Virginia State Police said 45-year-old Weldon Harrison, of Woodbridge, was driving the tanker northbound on I-495 just south of the American Legion Bridge when traffic ahead started to slow. After Harrison stepped on his brakes he lost control of the truck and it ran off the side of the interstate and struck the guardrail before overturning on its side across three lanes of the Beltway, state police said.

During the crash, the tanker struck a Honda Civic and clipped a Toyota Corolla. The driver of Toyota Camry couldn't stop in time and struck the tanker as it overturned, police said.

Police say the man driving the Camry was the only person hurt. Medics took him to the hospital with minor injuries.

Police cited Harrison with one count of reckless driving and four counts of defective brakes.

It took about 12 hours for crews to respond to and clear the crash. They had to unload about 8,500 gallons of unleaded fuel that was inside the tanker before they could get it upright and remove it.

Inner Loop traffic immediately came to a halt and rubbernecking slowed traffic on the Outer Loop.

Major roads faced stand-still traffic for hours after crippling delays rippled throughout the D.C. area.

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