(Updated 4 p.m.) On person has been arrested for a Fast and Furious-style illegal street race on I-495 near Telegraph Road this weekend.
According to a press release, the police became first aware of the incident on Saturday around 11:15 p.m. when an officer on patrol heard loud exhaust sounds from I-495.
“Upon receiving an alert from Virginia State Police about vehicles racing in the area of I-495 and Telegraph Road, Sergeant Ryan Waple positioned himself to observe 3-4 vehicles traveling in a group, positioning themselves to race,” APD said in the release. “The drivers of two vehicles, including a silver Mustang GT, then revved their engines and accelerated. Sergeant Waple followed with due regard for safety, as the vehicles reached speeds of 105MPH. At that point, he activated his emergency equipment and successfully stopped and apprehended the driver of the Mustang GT.”
Police arrested one person for racing and reckless driving by speed, and impounded his Mustang GT.
The arrest is the latest in a coordinated campaign with Virginia State Police to address speeding and racing issues. The release noted that there are often community frustrations created by loud noise, but noted that state legislation prevents officers from initiating traffic stops for vehicles for offenses like altered exhaust systems.
“This type of behavior is dangerous to anyone these drivers are sharing the road with and will not be tolerated,” said Chief Michael Brown in the press release. “We want to commend Sergeant Waple for his effort to stop this reckless behavior.”
A 49-year-old Alexandria tow truck driver was killed on Monday night as he responded to a disabled vehicle on Interstate 495, according to Virginia State Police.
Derrick A. Marbury was responding to a disabled vehicle on I-495 southbound when a 2015 Ford Edge was rear-ended by a 2013 Honda Pilot. The Honda went off the road and hit the tow truck, and Marbury reportedly ran out of the way and was struck and killed by a 2015 Mercedes-Benz M35.
“The Virginia State Police Fairfax Division Crash Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and is assisting with the ongoing crash investigation,” Virginia State Police said in a statement. “This is all the information we have at this time.”
The incident occurred less than a mile north of Route 236 in Fairfax County, according to police.
Traffic on either side of the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge is expected to come to a standstill shortly before midnight tonight (Tuesday) due to a passing ship.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) tweeted earlier this afternoon that the span would be opened around 11:30 p.m. to allow a 247.5-foot “superyacht” to pass through. The closure is likely to cause traffic backups on the Beltway.
“Expect delays and consider alternate routes,” the transit agency warned commuters.
Alexandria: The Woodrow Wilson Bridge will open tonight at 11:30PM to allow the Bella Vita yacht (Google it) through. Expect delays and consider alternate routes. @MDSHA
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) October 1, 2019
The ship causing all the fuss is the Bella Vita, a six-deck vessel for up to 12 guests and 22 crew.
According to its website, the Bella Vita costs $708,872 a week to charter and comes with a movie theatre, salon and gym — and is described by owner Moran Yacht & Ship as a “rugged luxury yacht.”
Formerly known as the Northern Star, the luxury yacht was built in 2009 and was at one point valued at $181 million, before being remodeled.
The Wilson bridge rarely opens, but makes exceptions for large ships, like the historic tall ships on their annual pilgrimage to Alexandria.
Image via Flickr/Geoff Livingston