PRINCE GEORGE, VA (WWBT) - Traffic on Interstate 95 is moving again this evening after a fatal car accident left one young girl dead. NBC12 was first on the scene and to tell you about the crash.
State Police are continuing to investigate the details of the crash, but say its quite possible the driver fell asleep behind the wheel. They also say the passenger who died was not wearing a seatbelt. So as we approach the busy 4th of July travel season, police are reminding drivers to use extra caution.
It was a horrific scene. A family in this white SUV was heading South on I-95 seemingly on a vacation. But early this morning, just after 4:30 the Maryland woman driving, Diane Dixon, ran off the road and lost control of the vehicle.
Virginia State Police Sgt. James Elmore says, "The vehicle went into the median grass area first, overcorrected when it came back up on the highway, the vehicle actually rotated around, facing northbound in the southbound lane, struck the guardrail overturned several times before coming to rest on top of the guardrail."
Two of Dixon's children -- 16-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl -- were both ejected from the SUV. The young girl was in the cargo area and was not wearing any safety restraints. She was thrown into the northbound lanes and into the path of an oncoming tractor trailer. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Dixon is in critical condition but expected to survive. Another friend and family member, both taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. And as police work to piece together what happened, they believe this accident "maybe" could've been avoided.
Sgt. Elmore says, "Its a good possibility the driver fell asleep. If you're getting tired pull over and stop, don't keep trying to go. Find a safe place, get off the interstate and rest. Second thing, two people were ejected which would lead us to believe they were not in seatbelts. Had they had their seatblets on they'd at least have stayed in the vehicle."
It took police more than five hours to clear the accident scene and get I-95 open in both directions. Charges against the driver of the SUV are pending.