Despite scenes of wreckage and debris covering the Capital Beltway near U.S. Route 50, all seven people involved in a three-vehicle collision are expected to survive, including four firefighters who were responding to a call, according to fire officials.
The collision involving a fire engine, a tractor-trailer and an SUV happened around 2:50 a.m. when the tractor-trailer rear-ended the fire engine on the inner loop of the Beltway, sending both vehicles into the outer loop lanes, where they struck an SUV, said Assistant Fire Chief Alicia Francis, a county fire/EMS spokeswoman. All three vehicles were overturned, she said, noting that the fire engine is “nearly totaled.”
There were four firefighters riding in the fire engine, one driver in the tractor-trailer and a driver and passenger in the SUV, according to fire officials. The firefighters were from the West Lanham Hills station and were responding to a call for another traffic incident on the Beltway before they were struck, Francis said.
An exact cause for the crash has not yet been determined and Maryland State Police are investigating, she said. Since the crash, three of the four firefighters have been released from the hospital while the fourth remains in critical but stable condition at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, she said.
They were all originally transported to trauma centers, she said.
Francis said all victims were listed in non-life-threatening condition, but did not know the specific condition of the occupants of the SUV and tractor-tailer other than that they were transported to MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.
Francis said judging by the wreckage, it was fortunate no one was killed.
“It’s a blessing that there were no serious injuries meaning fatalities. I’m really happy that didn’t happen,” she said.
Traffic delays are expected throughout the day as crews assess the collision and clean up debris, according to fire officials.