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Westbound Interstate 66 in Centreville closed for more than 10 hours after a fiery multi-vehicle crash that claimed one life and left at least one other person critically injured.

The wreck happened at 10:58 a.m. in the westbound lanes  east of Exit 53 for Route 28.

The chain reaction crash involved four sedans, one SUV, one pickup truck and a tractor-trailer that overturned. The impact caused one of the vehicles to crash into the Jersey wall and catch fire, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.

Joseph M. Castellano, 28, of McLean, died at the scene. His wife, also 28, was flown to a D.C. trauma center with life-threatening injuries.

Two drivers, a 40-year-old Centreville man and a 34-year-old Fairfax man, have been charged with reckless driving.

The westbound lanes of I-66 were closed through the day for clean up and accident reconstruction. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

All lanes of the interstate reopened at 9:44 p.m.

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(7) comments

CCW

Anyone that drives this stretch of road very often won't be surprised by this accident. I hear those that say that the problem is that the police aren't doing their job or that VDOT needs to put up better signage or another similar reasoning. Here's the way it is.

When people drive with absolute abandonment and disregard of common courtesy, observance of the law, speed limits and normal human sanity every police officer that works for the Virginia State Police combined could not possibly stop these kinds of accidents from happening.



What is the problem then? People come to our area from all over our country and the world for that matter. If there is any complaint that is common to most, if not all of them it is that the people in this area are the most inconsiderate they've seen anywhere.



I have heard this since the time when Route 234 was a two lane gravel road from the "stone house" all the way down to Route 1 in Dumfries, Va and Route 1 was nicknamed "blood alley" by National Geographic Magazine because of the horrible accidents that occurred on it between Alexandria and Richmond, Virginia.



Any guesses what the comments about the people that lived in this area (and Washington, DC) were then..?

Citizen52

I drive this stretch of road at speed limit on a regular basis. Even at 55 speed limit, it’s a dangerous stretch because of the Fairfax County entrance ramp being so close to the heavily traveled Route 28 north exit ramp. Despite this, people speed, change lanes without signaling, and jump the queue to exit on 28. Subsequently, I’ve witnessed a number of fender benders but never anything like this. We need more personal responsibility for driving actions. Hopefully, the events leading to this tragic accident were not the results of gross negligence.

CCW

You covered several of the basics very well however there is no way that I can extend a benefit of the doubt hope when it comes to gross negligence.



Going 55mph in the right lane going west on I-66 between Centerville and the Manassas / Gainsville / Haymarket interchanges transforms you into an easy target for some sort of a weird whoever has the most lug-nuts wins contest. At 55mph your chances of survival decrease exponentially with every mile per hour less than 100 you're going.



Gross negligence is everywhere you look. Average speeds in the left lane must be at least 75-80mph, drivers text messaging away and switching lanes at high rates of speeds are routine. Occasionally I've watched one or two Evel Knievel crotch riders going extremely fast while switching lanes to bypass traffic. When one driver refuses to yield to let another cut in front to avoid slower traffic that often means that a bunch of people are going to be hitting their brakes in all of the lanes at the same time. It is impossible for fifty or sixty thousand pounds of an 18 wheeler to stop as quick as a sedan, SUV or pickup truck. Sometimes even the most seasoned truck drivers cannot overrule their natural instincts; they swerve and that is when the deadly chaos will begin.



One thing is for certain. Whatever happened to cause this accident destroyed a lot of people's lives.

CCW

Note: Prince William Times has an update from VA Police here:



https://www.princewilliamtimes.com/news/state-police-two-charged-in--vehicle-pileup-on-i/article_cb1e3a9a-c766-11e9-8fc5-9bb18ca0ae4b.html



Two charged with reckless driving - a BMW driver and the 18 wheel truck driver.. all kinds of people injured..

ManassasBro

Why do they call it reckless driving when people cause a wreck? That’s got to be the worst use of a suffix.

CCW

Maybe a reader that's up to legal speed can answer your question, but I believe that the immediate reckless charge points a solid legal finger of fault at the individual(s that caused the accident. That way when the investigations are finished the charges can and probably will be increased appropriately.

In this accident there should be at least one charge (type) of manslaughter since one person was dead at the scene. From there, considering all of the personal injuries and all kinds and sorts of damage I imagine that there will be a long list of charges brought against those that caused or contributed to the wreckage.

Citizen52

Let’s keep this straight. This is NOT the fault of the roads or state police. Those involved in reckless driving are responsible. I’m sorry for the chaos and tragedy they’ve caused in other peoples’ lives, as a result.

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