The eastbound lanes of Interstate 66 in Fairfax County were closed for close to five hours Wednesday after a driver crashed into and brought down an overhead gantry.
Then a tractor-trailer crash a couple hours later in Prince William County, also in the eastbound lanes, made the situation even worse.
At 1:45 pm, Virginia State Police began receiving calls about a Toyota Corolla driving recklessly in the westbound lanes of Interstate 66 in Fairfax County.
Trooper D.W. Gundlach Jr. pulled in behind the Toyota and activated his patrol vehicle's lights and sirens to initiate a traffic stop. The Toyota refused to stop but was eventually forced to a stop in the travel lane due to slowing westbound traffic, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.
As this was happening, Trooper Gundlach witnessed a Kia run off the left side of Interstate 66 and continue into the median where it hit a pole supporting a highway sign. The impact of the crash with the pole caused the Kia to catch fire.
Trooper Gundlach immediately exited his vehicle, directed the Toyota's driver to pull over to the shoulder and park, and then ran to the aid of the driver in the Kia.
Trooper Gundlach ended up arresting the driver of the Toyota, Jordan L. Golladay, 25, of Manassas, for driving under the influence of drugs and driving on a suspended license, Geller said.
The driver of the Kia, Andrea Nunez, 27, of Manassas, was treated at the scene for minor injuries. The cause of her crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.
VDOT was notified and responded to the scene to assess the damage to the gantry. Fairfax County also responded to the scene to assist.
At 4:13 pm, Virginia State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 66 at the ramp for Exit 44 in Prince William County.
A flatbed tractor-trailer overturned in the lane and the driver was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
That crash remains under investigation.