|Police tackle a driver after a high-speed chase on Little River Turnpike. [From a video by Laura Reynolds.]|
No one was hurt, the Fairfax County Police Department reports.
Gary Bollinger who was driving east on Little River Turnpike during the incident, narrowly escaped a head-on crash.
Bollinger, a resident of Oakwood Village in Annandale, was heading to the Home Depot on Little River Turnpike at about 5 p.m. to buy air filters.
He was the first car in the line stopped at a red light on Little River Turnpike, when he saw a burgundy car – he thinks it was a Dodge Charger – head toward him on the wrong side of the road at about 80 mph.
“It definitely scared me,” Bollinger said. The other car fishtailed, and Bollinger swerved so hard, all the tire pressure lights came on in his brand-new SUV, a 2017 Ford Escape. The other car kept going.
“There were literally a ton of Fairfax County police cars on the other side of Little River chasing him,” Bollinger said.
Bollinger pulled over for a minute to collect himself. In his rearview mirror, he saw the car barreling down the road into oncoming traffic being chased by the police at full speed as other cars were flashing their headlights.
Bollinger was shaking as he pulled into the Home Depot parking lot where he called a friend. “I was happy to be alive. It was one of those life-flashing-before-your-eyes moments.”
“If I had been texting and driving and not paying attention, I would have been hit,” he says. “Someone under the influence or elderly would have been hit. That’s how close of a call it was. I’m thankful it was me, a cognizant, reactive driver.”
“The fleeing driver then started to drive in the opposite lanes of travel on Little River Turnpike, putting the public at risk. After a short distance, the fleeing car returned to the right side of the road but still ignored the pursuing police cars behind him,” the FCPD states.
“At some point, the fleeing driver made an abrupt U-turn on Little River Turnpike near Pinecrest Vista Drive and hit a police car, almost head-on. Somehow the fleeing driver was able to continue over the center median again and started traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of Little River Turnpike,” the FCPD continued.
“Because of the escalating danger to the public,” the police used a “precision immobilization technique,” which forced the vehicle to spin. The driver was able to regain control of the car, however, and drove head-on into another police car, leaving it completely disabled.
The officers then blocked the fleeing vehicle with several other police cars. Washington got out and attempted to flee on foot but was quickly caught. “While taking the driver into custody, he resisted arrest and disregarded officers’ commands. It took several officers to control him and get handcuffs on him,” the FCPD reports. He is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center on no bond.
Laura Reynolds, who took a video of the incident, said, “I saw the car get surrounded by cops and the driver tackled after he tried to run. It was chaos.”
After about 20 minutes, as Bollinger was returning to Little River Turnpike, he saw a wrecked car on a tow truck and another wrecked car with a smashed windshield.
At that point, Little River Turnpike was closed to traffic and cars were turned back one by one as they had to take a detour, leading to long backups.