VIRGINIA

Occupants of Vehicle on I-66 Identified

Virginia State Police have identified the occupants of a vehicle that left the scene of a traffic altercation that resulted in the death of a 24-year-old Laurel man early Saturday on Interstate 66 in Fairfax County, a police spokeswoman said yesterday.

A tip led police to the four men who were riding in a black Jeep Wrangler that witnesses said was involved in the altercation, spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said. Police were trying to interview the men late yesterday.

Caldwell said police received about a half-dozen calls with information about the incident.

Cesar A. Flores was struck by a bakery truck about 3:34 a.m. Saturday after he and a friend had stopped their car on the shoulder of I-66 to confront four men in another vehicle. Witnesses told police that one of the men drew a knife and chased Flores into the westbound lanes of the highway near the Dulles Access Road.

Police said that Flores and his friend were riding in a white BMW and that the four men were in the Wrangler when the incident occurred. Police said the BMW may have cut off the Jeep and then slowed, angering the Jeep's driver. At that point, both vehicles pulled over to the side of the road.

The incident escalated when one of the people in the Jeep broke out the rear window of the BMW. At least six other cars carrying friends of Flores or the other group also took part in the confrontation, police said.

Caldwell said police think the occupants of the Jeep may have been at a bar in Georgetown before the incident. All of the men are from Northern Virginia. Police are still trying to interview the driver of the BMW, who is also from Northern Virginia, Caldwell said.

Charges--possibly against both drivers--are pending, she said. An autopsy is to be performed on Flores today.

Man Critical After Metro Incident

A man injured on the Metrorail tracks in the East Falls Church station late Saturday was in critical but stable condition yesterday at Washington Hospital Center, a hospital spokesman said.

Service on Metro's Orange Line was suspended at that station for about two hours after the incident. Metro officials say the unidentified man may have climbed on the tracks deliberately. He also may have come in contact with the third rail, which powers the train.

The incident remains under investigation.

Woman May Have Been Dead for a Year

Norfolk police say a deceased woman found in her home may have been dead for nearly a year.

Officials investigating a complaint about an overgrown lawn discovered the body of 78-year-old Doris Silvers, who authorities say died of natural causes. Police said her husband had died two years ago and her daughter died in 1992; neighbors say they noticed that her house had been dark since last fall but assumed she had gone to a nursing home.

THE DISTRICT

Water Operations Disrupted in Northwest

Thousands of Northwest Washington residents and businesses were left without water for several hours yesterday because of equipment problems at a water pumping station, officials said.

A power failure disrupted operations at the Reno Road NW water pumping station at 9 a.m., affecting service for one-third of the area west of Rock Creek Park, said Libby Lawson, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority. She said customers had low water pressure or no water until about 1 p.m.

Crews from Potomac Electric Power Co. were called upon to aid in repairs.

MARYLAND

6 Injured in Anne Arundel Crash

Six people, including two young children, were injured yesterday afternoon in a two-car, head-on collision in Anne Arundel County, police said. None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.

The crash occurred about 2:50 p.m., when a 1989 Volkswagen Jetta heading north on Stillmeadows Drive near Parham Court in Severn crossed into the southbound lane and struck an oncoming 1995 Toyota Corolla, police said.

The occupants of the Volkswagen--a 28-year-old woman, her 1-year-old son, her 6-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old woman--were injured, as were the two 17-year-old girls in the Toyota. The mother and three teenagers were treated at hospitals, authorities said. The two children were listed in fair condition at Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore, according to hospital spokeswoman Wendy Mullins.

Officer Thomas O'Connor, a police spokesman, said alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the accident. He said the crash was under investigation.

Changes Proposed to Juror Process

A panel of judges and lawyers is to recommend changes to the Maryland court system that are designed to help people cope with the complex and at times unsettling court process when they are called for jury duty. The recommendations stem from a review begun last year by the state's highest judge, Robert M. Bell.

Among the recommendations would be providing day care for a child or elderly parent or counseling after a stressful trial. Employers would be obligated to pay a juror's salary for up to three days.

Another proposal would allow jurors to ask questions during trials by passing notes to the judge. Another suggestion being discussed would reduce the number of opportunities that lawyers have to dismiss potential jurors without an explanation.

Bell formed the Council on Jury Use and Management last year, appointing judges, lawyers, court administrators, former jurors and other citizens. The council will issue a final report to the circuit court judges' conference this month.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"It's unbelievable. There's literally no backup on any of the roads, no backups at all."

-- Maryland Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari, on a revamped parking plan at Redskins Stadium.