According to the Virginia State Police, the fatal crash occurred about 2:30 p.m. in the northbound lanes of the Beltway in the North Springfield area. A box truck did not stop in time to avoid what police called a work-zone safety vehicle that was stopped in the right-hand travel lane. The safety vehicle, described as a crash-cushion vehicle, was part of a continuing work zone.
After hitting the rear of the safety vehicle, the box truck driver lost control of his vehicle, ran off the road and hit the Jersey barrier. Police said the driver, Richard L. Edwards, 24, of Woodbridge, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He had not been wearing a seat belt, police said.
The driver of the safety vehicle was not injured, police said.
The other crash, according to police, occurred five or 10 minutes earlier in the Springfield area, near one of the region’s major highway interchanges. Police said it happened on a ramp leading from the westbound lanes of Interstate 495 to the southbound HOV lanes of Interstate 95. A tractor-trailer ran off the left side of the road on the ramp and struck a concrete Jersey barrier there.
The trailer was carrying a load of trash that included a variety of construction and household materials. It had no top, and as the trailer turned over onto the wall, part of the load rained onto the westbound lanes of the Beltway below.
None of the debris was considered hazardous, but it accumulated on the westbound Beltway lanes to a depth of about a foot, the State Police said.
Police said the truck driver was not injured. They identified him as Hector Y. Lopez-Navarro, 41, of Woodbridge, and said he was charged with reckless driving.
The incidents occurred before the day’s heaviest commuter travel period but were blamed for substantial delays.