Virginia

Stunning video shows Virginia trooper hit by suspected drunk driver during Capital Beltway traffic stop

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Stunning video shows the moment a suspected drunk driver crashed on the Capital Beltway on Tuesday, injuring a Virginia State Police trooper who was speaking to another driver who had stopped on the busy interstate.

The trooper, identified as C. Aziz, responded to Interstate 495 in Fairfax County about 3 a.m. because a sedan had stopped along the dotted lines between two right-hand travel lanes, according to Virginia State Police and video from the scene.

The trooper was speaking to the driver of the stopped sedan as vehicles whizzed by in the left lanes, video apparently taken from the trooper’s dash cam shows.

Then, a suspected drunk driver in a Jeep slammed into a tractor-trailer that was stopped behind the sedan, police said.

The Jeep spun into the trooper’s patrol car, which had been parked behind the sedan with lights flashing, police said.

The trooper’s patrol car was shoved forward, hitting the trooper and knocking her down, the video shows. The trooper can be heard shouting as she falls.

The video shows the trooper quickly standing up and speaking into a radio.

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She didn’t break any bones, but faces a long road to recovery, police said while sharing the shocking video. A photo shows the back passenger side of the trooper’s vehicle crumpled.

The driver of the Jeep, 35-year-old Joanna F. Hatch of Alexandria, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. The sedan driver, Erica D. Bernard, 43, of Albright, West Virginia, was arrested on several charges including driving under the influence of drugs, possession of a controlled substance and improperly stopping on a highway.

Under Virginia law, drivers are required to move over if they see flashing lights and it’s safe to change to a lane farther from authorities.

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