Dashcam video shows drunk driver hit Virginia trooper during chain-reaction crash on I-495

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Virginia State Police (VSP) shared footage showing the moment a trooper was hit by a car Tuesday, June 11 due to a chain-reaction crash involving a tractor-trailer on Interstate 495 in Annandale.

Officials said Trooper Aziz was responding to a stopped sedan in a northbound lane of I-495 near Exit 52 around 3 a.m.

The driver of the sedan – identified as Erica D. Bernard, 43, of Albright W. Va. - refused to get out of the car or move the car to a safer location on the shoulder, according to VPS officials.

While Trooper Aziz was engaging with Bernard, officials said a Jeep hit a tractor-trailer that was stopped due to the closed travel lane blocked by Bernard’s sedan.

The impact of the crash caused the Jeep to spin and hit the trooper’s patrol car, which then hit the sedan and the trooper who was standing next to the driver’s side of the sedan.

"Trooper C. Aziz, amazingly, didn’t end up with any broken bones, but she still has a long road to recovery after a DUI driver slammed into the back of her patrol car while she was stopped...” officials said.

Bernard, who was still seated inside the vehicle when it was struck, also sustained minor injuries. She was later charged with Driving Under the Influence of drugs, obstruction, possession of an illegal substance, improperly stopping on a highway and refusal of a blood or breath test, according to officials.

The driver of the Jeep, Joanna F. Hatch, 35, of Arlington, Va., was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).

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