Virginia state trooper vehicle hit by drunk driver, during DUI stop

A Virginia state trooper's vehicle was hit by a drunk driver after hitting a tractor-trailer while they were conducting a DUI stop in Fairfax County.

Police were dispatched to a sedan that had stopped in the northbound lane of I-495 near Exit 52 in Fairfax County. According to police, the sedan's driver was still in the vehicle and was refusing to cooperate with the trooper to exit the vehicle and move the vehicle to a safer location on the shoulder. 

While the trooper was working to engage the individual, a Jeep Cherokee struck a tractor-trailer that had stopped due to the travel lane being closed by the sedan. The impact of that crash caused the Jeep to spin around and strike the trooper's patrol car, which then struck the sedan, which then struck the trooper as the trooper was standing next to the driver's side of the sedan.

According to police, the trooper sustained minor injuries and was transported to Fairfax INOVA Hospital for evaluation. 

The driver of the sedan has been identified as 43-year-old Erica D. Bernard, of Albright, West Virginia., who was still seated inside the vehicle at the time it was struck, was also treated for minor injuries sustained in the crash. Bernard has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs, obstruction, possession of a schedule I or II substance, refusal of a blood/breath test, and improperly stopping a vehicle on a highway.

The driver of the Jeep Cherokee has been identified as 35-year-old Joanna F. Hatch, of Arlington, Virginia. Hatch was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Both Bernard and Hatch were transported to Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.