Two crashes at the same location early Saturday on the inner loop of the Washington Beltway in Maryland — one involving a firetruck — left six people injured and shut down the highway for several hours, according to police and fire officials.
None of the injuries was life threatening, the Prince George’s County Fire Department said. Four of the injured were firefighters whose firetruck was rear-ended on Interstate 495 near Allentown Road.
Traffic was diverted onto Pennsylvania Avenue after the accidents at 3:30 a.m. Two lanes of the inner loop were reopened about 6:30 a.m., but police warned of long backups.
Maryland State Police at the Forestville Barrack said that shortly before 3:30, a driver fell asleep and struck an unattended car on the side of the highway near Allentown Road. Firefighters and paramedics from Prince George’s County responded and used one firetruck to set up a barrier so emergency workers could help the injured and remove the damaged vehicles.
Police said another motorist, later determined to have been under the influence of alcohol, crashed into the firetruck. Police said the driver, who was hurt, could be charged after the investigation is complete.