A 31-year-old Virginia man has been charged with DUI after he went the wrong way on the Beltway in a Thanksgiving Day crash that sent six people to hospitals, officials said.

Virginia state police said in a statement on Monday that Paul A. Espinoza of Annandale was charged with DUI in the Thursday accident along the northbound lanes of the Beltway near Braddock Road in Fairfax.

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.