A multi-car crash on the Capital Beltway and Interstate 495 in McLean resulted in one of the worst traffic jams this year for commuters in the greater DC area. According to the initial report and the statement from the Fairfax County director of public affairs, Castrilli, the snarl of traffic that occurred after the crash was one of the worst in the area’s recent history.
The incident began shortly after 6:30 in the morning. Although the specifics around the crash are hazy, it seems that it involved one semi-truck, a white van, a white pickup truck, a dark colored sedan, and several other vehicles. The accident occurred along the inside lanes of the Inner Loop at the American Legion Bridge and resulted in their immediate closure. At least one person who was involved in the accident was taken to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. It is believed that the injuries they suffered were not life-threatening.
Although the accident itself was relegated primarily to the leftmost lane, the force of the collision sent large hunks of concrete flying across the road. This concrete managed to lacerate the tires of several other cars driving through the area and caused the bulk of the traffic problem.
It was reported that the traffic at its worst point stretched from the location of the incident in McLean all the way back to Springfield. All secondary and tertiary roads around the area were also completely backed up for hours as commuters attempted to leave the interstate and make their way to work following alternate routes.
Commuters in the area are now frustrated at what they perceive as Virginia’s inability to implement successful protocol during incidents such as the one described above. One of the primary complaints from those who became trapped in the traffic after Wednesday’s crash was the extremely high cost of the toll lanes. There is a strong belief among citizens that all tolls should be lifted during incidents such as the one that took place on Wednesday morning, allowing commuters to still reach work while emergency services are able to take the time they need to investigate and clean up the site of the crash.