I-95 chase ends with gunfire, crash

A chase involving Virginia State Police and a Stafford County sheriff’s deputy ended in a crash today. The suspect in the case was injured and was being flown to a hospital for treatment.

Spokeswoman Corinne Geller said that at 11:31 a.m., Virginia State Police Trooper Z.G. Torrance received a “Be On the Look Out” bulletin for an SUV that was possibly related to an ongoing criminal investigation in Stafford County. A state trooper spotted the suspect vehicle traveling north on Interstate 95 near the 137-mile marker and, with the assistance of a Stafford County Sheriff’s Deputy, attempted a traffic stop.

At the 138-mile marker, the Ford Explorer suddenly stopped in the center lane, Geller said. The adult male driver of the Ford leaned out the driver’s side window and fired several rounds at the trooper, with one bullet penetrating the windshield. The trooper escaped injury when he ducked to the side as the bullet lodged in his driver’s seat.

At approximately the 140-mile marker on I-95, the Ford Explorer slowed and the driver again started firing from his driver’s side window at the police vehicles. This time the Stafford County Sheriff’s Deputy’s patrol car was struck. The Stafford County Sheriff’s Deputy suffered a minor injury when the bullet penetrated the windshield.

The Ford continued again north on I-95 weaving in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed. At the 142-mile marker, the Ford Explorer sideswiped another vehicle traveling north on I-95. This caused the driver of the Ford to lose control. The Ford ran off the right side of the interstate, crashed into the guardrail, overturned and came to rest upside down in the northbound lanes of I-95. The driver of the suspect vehicle was flown to Fairfax Inova Hospital, where he was being treated for life-threatening injuries.

No law enforcement or other motorists were injured in the shooting or pursuit. No law enforcement fired their weapons during the course of the incident.

State police are also investigating a three-vehicle, chain-reaction crash that occurred during the course of this incident. Trooper Torrance stopped at the 138 mile marker as soon as his windshield was shot, which caused the passenger vehicle traveling behind to rear-end the trooper’s car. A second passenger vehicle then rear-ended the first passenger vehicle. Only one person suffered a minor injury in the chain-reaction crash and was treated at the scene.

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.