Press Club

Police: Wrong-Way I-66 Driver Was Suffering ‘Mental Duress’

A Pennsylvania woman injured one person and nearly collided head-on with others while driving the wrong way on the Beltway and I-66.

Virginia State Police detailed what happened today, after NBC 4 reported on the incident on Thursday, airing dashcam footage  (above) taken along I-66 in Arlington.

“At approximately 10:36 a.m. Thursday (June 11), Virginia State Police began receiving calls for a red sedan traveling north in the southbound Express Lanes of I-495 near Exit 51,” VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller wrote this afternoon. “As state police were responding, the vehicle took I-66 and was then traveling east in the westbound lanes of I-66. As the vehicle headed into Arlington County, it struck another vehicle.”

“The impact of that crash caused the wrong-way vehicle to suffer a flat tire,” Geller continued. “State police troopers were able to meet the oncoming red sedan, at which time the vehicle pulled off to the shoulder.”

With the vehicle stopped near the Lee Highway/Spout Run exit of I-66, the 57-year-old driver initially refused to get out of the car when state troopers approached.

“The troopers recognized the woman was suffering from mental duress and were able to contact a family member,” Geller said. “The troopers kept communicating with the woman and were able to establish a rapport with her. She exited the vehicle and was transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation. The driver of the vehicle that was struck was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries.”

Potential charges against the woman are still pending, said Geller.

The man who shared the dashcam video with NBC 4 told the station that it felt like something out of a video game as he swerved and missed colliding with the woman’s Chevrolet “by inches.”

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