Trooper Struck in Suspected DUI Crash: Investigating DUI Case

By | June 14, 2024

By Trend News Line 2024-06-14 19:05:52.

Accused Drunk Driver Hits State Trooper Attending to DUI Stop

A dramatic scene unfolded in Fairfax County, Virginia, in the early hours of June 11th. An accused drunk driver, Joanna Hatch of Arlington, collided with a car that had stopped in a lane on Interstate 495. The car had refused to move to a safer area on the shoulder of the interstate, prompting a response from the Virginia State Police.

Trooper’s Response to the Incident

The Virginia State trooper arrived at the scene to find a car stopped in a lane on Interstate 495. The driver of the car, Erica Bernard, 43, of Albright, West Virginia, had ignored instructions to move to the shoulder. As the trooper attempted to deal with the situation, a Jeep Cherokee struck a tractor-trailer that was stopped due to the ongoing investigation. The Jeep then spun out, hitting the trooper’s cruiser, which in turn collided with the stopped car and the trooper herself.

Details of the Collision

Footage captured by the trooper’s dashcam revealed the harrowing moment of impact. The trooper, standing at the window of the stopped car, was suddenly struck by her own patrol vehicle as it was hit by the Jeep. The force of the collision knocked her to the ground, but she managed to get back on her feet with minor injuries.

Criminal Charges

The aftermath of the collision led to multiple arrests and charges. Erica Bernard, the driver of the initially stopped car, faced charges of driving under the influence of drugs, obstruction, possession of a schedule I or II substance, refusal of a blood/breath test, and improper stopping of a vehicle on a highway. Joanna Hatch, the driver of the Jeep, was also arrested and charged with driving under the influence.

Medical Treatment and Detention

Following the incident, both drivers were taken to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries. The trooper, despite sustaining minor injuries, required medical attention for her well-being. Subsequently, both Bernard and Hatch were transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center to await further legal proceedings.


The collision on Interstate 495 serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of impaired driving and the risks it poses to both law enforcement officers and the general public. The swift response of the Virginia State Police highlights the importance of enforcing road safety measures and holding accountable those who endanger others through reckless behaviour. As the legal process unfolds, the community remains vigilant in promoting responsible driving practices to prevent further tragedies on the road..

Trooper struck vehicle suspected DUI crash investigating another DUI case.

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