Two Drivers Killed in Wrong-Way Three-Car Crash on I-395: Police

One of two drivers killed in a multiple-vehicle crash in the HOV lanes of I-395 was driving the wrong way, Virginia State Police announced Friday.

William Betternberg, 75, and Robert Trimpe, 55, died as a result of the Alexandria crash, which happened about 10 p.m. Thursday.

Virginia State Police said Trimpe was driving the wrong way -- traveling north at a time when the traffic in the HOV lanes was southbound -- when he struck Betternberg's Toyota Avalon nearly head-on.

The driver of a third vehicle, an Infiniti G37, was unable to avoid the crash, striking both Trimpe's CR-V and Betternberg's car.

Trimpe, of Springfield, died at the scene. Betternberg, a Burke resident, died at INOVA Fairfax Hospital.

The driver of the Infiniti suffered minor injuries.

Bettenberg's wife told News4 that her husband had worked at the Department of the Interior for 41 years. In retirement, he decided to go to law school, and spent the past few years working for a small law firm in downtown D.C.

She said he'd go in late and drive home late to avoid rush hour.

Bettenberg leaves behind his wife and an adult son.

One of his colleages called him "a great mind" who will be "deeply, deeply missed."

The HOV lanes were closed until 3:10 a.m. Friday.

Police are still trying to determine how a wrong-way driver would have been able to get onto the HOV lanes if the gates were down. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or saw Trimpe's vehicle prior to the accident should call Virginia State Police at 703-845-6300.

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