Three men charged in separate incidents on I-66

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FAIRFAX CO., VA. – Three men are charged on different charges in connection to two separate incidents that happened in the same area along I-66 near exit 52 in Fairfax County early Wednesday morning.

Virginia State Police said a trooper was traveling in the westbound lanes of I-66 in Fairfax County when his license plate reader alerted him to a plate of a 2015 Hyundai going westbound. The Hyundai had been reported stolen out of Prince George’s County in Maryland. The trooper pulled over the vehicle for a traffic stop.

Police said the driver, Eulogio Hernandez, 19, and the passenger, Josue Rodas, 21, got out of the car and ran into the woods.  Troopers called in a VDOT Safety Services Patrol (SSP) vehicle to the scene to alert oncoming traffic that the shoulder was closed.

As troopers searched for both Hyattsville men, detectives said, a Ford Explorer going west on I-66 ran into the VDOT SSP and caused a chain reaction crash. Police said the crash made a trooper’s cruiser hit an embankment and the crash also damaged two other troopers’ vehicles. State Police said all three cruisers were empty at the time of the crash and troopers were not injured.

However, police said, the 60-year-old driver of the VDOT SSP was inside the vehicle during the crash. He was transported to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, where he was treated and released for injuries sustained in the crash.

As far as the driver of Ford Explorer, police said, Lloyd J. Hawkins III, 36, of Centreville, Va., was transported to Fairfax Inova Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. His passenger, a 37-year-old female from Centreville was also transported to Fairfax Inova Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Hawkins was charged with reckless driving.

Virginia State Police called in additional help from Fairfax County Police to help them search for Hernandez and Rodas.  State Police said Rodas was arrested around 2 a.m. without incident and charged with possession of marijuana.

Police said Hernandez was spotted hitchhiking along I-66 eastbound lanes near Stringfellow Road. When officers arrived to the area where Hernandez was hitchhiking, police said, he ran away. A short time later, with the assistance of a Fairfax County Police canine and aviation, Hernandez was spotted nearby and arrested without incident at around 5:20 a.m.

State police charged Hernandez with unauthorized use of a vehicle, possession of stolen property, eluding police, presenting false identification to a law enforcement officer, and for not having a valid operator’s license. He is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.