Van Thief Charged in I-95 Crash That Injured Six Passengers

The driver responsible for causing injuries to six van passengers during a police chase on March 11 has been charged with stealing the van, driving under the influence, and eluding police.

According to Virginia State Police, Sonia E. Lopez, 22, stole a Toyota Sienna minivan from a home in Herndon, and took off down I-95 during the early morning hours on Tuesday. Inside the van were six passengers all ranging in age from 15 to 23.

Around 2:00 a.m. on March 11, police in Fort Belvoir reportedly spotted the van driving dangerously around the base, and attempted to pull the vehicle over. Instead, Lopez fled the scene, traveling at more than 100 mph, and headed south on I-95. While attempting to exit the interstate at Dale Boulevard in Woodbridge, the van collided with a guardrail and overturned. As a result, four of the van’s passengers were ejected from the vehicle.

Lopez and her six passengers all suffered injuries and were flown to local hospitals nearby. One of the injured victims, a 15-year-old girl, remained hospitalized for several days due to the life-threatening injuries she sustained.

According to Virginia State Police Department spokeswoman Corinne Geller, Lopez faces additional charges that are pending from the van crash. As a result of the accident, the exit where Lopez overturned the van stayed closed for nearly five hours.

No information was provided about whether or not there was a connection between Lopez and the passengers inside the van.

At Lewis & Tompkins, we’d like to offer our wishes for full and quick recoveries to those victims who were injured in this I-95 speeding van accident.

Did a driver’s negligent actions, such as speeding and erratic driving, cause your injuries? We’d like to hear your story. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or connect with connect with us on LinkedIn and use the power of social media to get the word out about the dangers of speeding vehicle accidents.

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