Virginia state police said the crash happened around 3 a.m. when Espinoza drove a Nissan Leaf south in the northbound lanes of the Beltway. Within seconds, police said, the Nissan struck a BMW head-on, causing debris to fly across the roadway.
Police said that set off a chain reaction, and Espinoza then ran the Nissan off the road before striking a guardrail. The BMW spun out and hit a Toyota Camry, and then another vehicle, a Toyota Prius, struck some debris. The drivers of the Camry and the Prius were not hurt.
Espinoza was taken to a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening. Four people who were in the BMW were also hurt.
One of the passengers in the BMW — a 30-year-old man from Ontario, Canada — got out after the vehicle was hit and was standing in front of it when it was struck from behind by a fifth vehicle, a Honda Civic. Police said the man was then struck by the BMW. He is being treated at a hospital for life-threatening injuries.
Three others in the BMW were taken to hospitals, including the driver, a 24-year-old man from Rosedale, Md., who suffered life-threatening injuries and two passengers who suffered serious injuries. Police said the woman driving the Honda Civic was also taken to a hospital for serious injuries.
The crash remains under investigation, police said.