A young North Carolina woman and a 16-year-old girl from Falls Church were killed and another young woman was critically injured when their speeding car catapulted end over end on Interstate 66 at nearly 100 miles per hour and landed in heavy oncoming holiday traffic Sunday evening in western Fairfax County.
All eight east- and westbound highway lanes were closed for about 40 minutes after the crash occurred at 6:11 p.m., about 15 miles west of Washington, Virginia State Police said.
The victims were the back-seat passenger, Bunnarath Prom, 16, of Falls Church, and the driver, Bun Van, 20, of Lexington, N.C. An 18-year-old passenger, also of Lexington, was not identified, but was expected to survive.
The three occupants, apparently not wearing seat belts, were ejected through the windshield when their 1990 Lexus four-door sedan veered out of control from the left westbound lane, plunged into a ditch, somersaulted twice over a grassy median and landed in the far eastbound lanes near the Fairfax County Parkway exit, according to police.
"It was just speed," said Wolford, the investigating officer. Based on witness testimony and evidence from the accident scene, police believe the car was traveling at 94 mph. "For whatever reason, they ran off to the left . . . hit a ditch, went airborne and flipped end over end two times. They did not hit any other vehicles."
The bodies were found near a guardrail about 30 feet from where the car came to rest.
With the combination of speed, high impact and traffic, Wolford said, "We could have easily had 10 people killed. . . . I've never seen anything like it."
State Police Sgt. H.M. Chapman said the car was registered in North Carolina. Police said they did not know where the group was traveling.
The highway where the accident occurred is a straight section of roadway with four lanes in each direction. The weather was clear at the time.