UPDATE: #VSP Investigating Stolen Ambulance & Multiple Crashes Following Pursuit in Northern VA
At 3:40 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 12, 2023), Virginia State Police responded to a two-vehicle crash in the eastbound lanes of I-66 near the 74-mile marker. The truck that caused the crash fled the scene. The truck had been reported stolen out of Falls Church, Va., and the driver was later identified as Darell T. Caldwell, 30, of Brandywine, Md. The driver of the other vehicle involved in this crash was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
Maryland court records reveal that Caldwell was charged with assault and reckless endangerment in Prince George’s County in 2020, and the charges were put on the Stet Docket by Prince George’s County States Attorney Aisha Braveboy.
FIVE WERE INJURED BY IN THE CRASH; CALDWELL BEAT FEET
At 3:41 p.m., VSP responded to a multi-vehicle crash in the northbound lanes of I-395 near Exit 10 in Arlington County. The crash was caused by the same stolen truck being driven by Caldwell. A total of five people were transported to a nearby hospital as a result of this crash. Meanwhile, Caldwell fled the crash scene on foot.
Minutes later, State Police received a report of a crash on the George Washington Parkway involving another truck being driven by Caldwell that was driving the wrong way when it struck another vehicle. An Arlington County Fire Department ambulance responding to I-395 came upon the crash on the GW Parkway. The ambulance stopped, and the medics got out to render aid to the drivers. While the medics were tending to the one driver, Caldwell ran up to the ambulance and drove off in it.
The medics waved down a VSP trooper who was responding to the crash scenes to alert him to the stolen ambulance. The trooper caught up to the stolen ambulance. When the ambulance refused to stop for the trooper, a pursuit was initiated. At one point, the ambulance stopped in the road. As the trooper was getting out of his patrol car, Caldwell put the ambulance in reverse and rammed the state police vehicle, and fled the scene.
The driver who stole an ambulance has “DARE” in his first name!
The pursuit continued with Virginia State Police being assisted by The Arlington County Police Department. During the course of the pursuit, the stolen ambulance accessed the I-395 Express Lanes and then entered Washington, D.C., where it struck head-on a parked vehicle at 14th Street NW and D Street NW. State police and Arlington County Police took Caldwell into custody without further incident. Caldwell was transported to a nearby hospital for medical evaluation.
The parked vehicle that was struck by the ambulance was occupied by one person. That individual suffered minor injuries.
During the course of the pursuit, the stolen ambulance struck multiple vehicles and again rammed the trooper’s patrol car. At this time, state police have accounted for and are investigating 13 hit-and-run crashes committed by the stolen ambulance. State police have not received any reports of serious injuries resulting from the crashes. No law enforcement was injured during the course of the pursuit. Anyone who was struck by the ambulance during the course of the pursuit is encouraged to contact the Virginia State Police at 703-803-0026.
Caldwell has been charged by federal and local law enforcement. State police charges are still pending.