DULLES, Va. — A rideshare driver is dead after police say he hit a deer while taking a passenger to Dulles International Airport in Virginia. The crash happened around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday along the westbound lanes of Dulles Airport Access Highway, about one mile west of Interstate 495.
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Police were called to the scene for a report of a deer being hit by a car. Officers found a Toyota minivan at the scene. According to police, the driver, who has not yet been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene. The rideshare passenger was taken to the hospital by the Fairfax County Fire Department. The severity of the passenger's injuries, as well as their current condition, are not known at this time.
MWAA spokesperson James Johnson said airport-bound traffic was detoured to the Dulles Toll Road for a few hours Wednesday night while the crash was investigated. All roads are open as of Thursday morning.
The driver was driving for Lyft at the time of the crash. A spokesperson for the company released the following statement:
“We are heartbroken by this tragic incident. Our thoughts are with the rider as well as the driver’s loved ones during this incredibly difficult time, and we have reached out to offer our support.”
Additional details regarding the crash were not immediately available.
The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources offers the following tips to drivers to avoid hitting deer:
- Slow down and be attentive, particularly at night (from dusk to dawn). If one deer crosses the road as you approach, others are likely to follow.
- Deer habitually travel the same areas. Use caution when you see deer crossing signs installed in these areas by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
- Apply brakes, even stop if necessary, to avoid hitting a deer, but never swerve out of the lane to miss a deer. A collision with another vehicle, tree, or other object is likely to be more serious than hitting a deer.
- Always wear a seat belt! Even if a collision is unavoidable, you are more likely to avoid injury or death if you are wearing a seat belt.
- If you hit or kill a deer or bear while driving, immediately report the accident to a Conservation Police Officer or other law enforcement officer in the county or city where the accident occurred.
- If you kill a deer or bear while driving, you may keep it for your own use if you report the accident to a law enforcement officer where the accident occurred and the officer views the animal and gives you a possession certificate.