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Wrong-way driver hits vehicles on 495

Friday - 4/12/2013, 7:39am  ET

WASHINGTON - A driver traveling the wrong direction on Interstate 495 Thursday afternoon hit another car head-on and caused a chain-reaction crash.

The incident sent several people to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Virginia State Police say.

Police say they received a report of a silver Chevrolet Impala traveling the wrong way in the northbound 495 Express Lanes at about 1:10 p.m. The driver then quickly exited into the main southbound lanes of the Beltway.

Near mile marker 44, the Impala first struck a trailer being towed by a pickup truck. The Impala then hit a Toyota Corolla head-on, and that impact caused the vehicles to collide with a Honda.

The drivers of the Toyota, Honda and Impala were all taken to Fairfax Inova Hospital, police say.

Police did not release the name of the 25-year-old Missouri man driving the Impala but say charges are pending against him. Alcohol appeared to be a factor in the crashes, police say.

The southbound lanes were closed to traffic off and an for more than an hour. All lanes reopened to traffic about 2:50 p.m., police say.

This story has been corrected to reflect that the incident occurred on Thursday, not Wednesday.

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