Police and WMATA are investigating an apparent hit and run accident that happened in Ballston this afternoon.
The three occupants of the car that was hit and another witness told police that a Metrobus rear-ended a car at the intersection of Fairfax Drive and Glebe Road, then fled the scene by making an illegal right turn from the main travel lanes of Fairfax onto Glebe.
Jeffrey Nichols-Haining, the driver of the car, says the light had just turned green when he saw the bus barreling toward him.
“I did see it [coming] in my rear view mirror… I mumbled [expletive] then got hit,” he said.
“He waved us to go forward, then after we went forward he turned,” said Nichols-Haning’s sister, a passenger in the car. Nichols-Haining said another driver saw the accident happen and tried to help.
“Some guy… turned behind us, caught his bus number and called the cops,” he said. “We filled out a police report, and we have a witness report that was filed.”
A Metro supervisor showed up about an hour after the accident. A Metro spokesperson says the agency is investigating the incident.
Nichols-Haining says he was on his way back home to Morgantown, W.V. after picking up his sister, who had just completed an internship. Although the car appears drivable, he said he couldn’t get his camera to take photos of the damage because the trunk won’t open. He added that he hopes to get the accident behind him and get on with his travel plans.
“I’d like to keep going because I have a camping trip planned… hopefully we’ll be able to resolve this quickly and get on with it.”
Update at 4:25 p.m. — A WMATA spokesperson tells TBD.com that the driver of the Metrobus did not report the incident. The driver has been put on three days of leave and will undergo mandatory drug and alcohol testing, TBD reports.
Update at 8:55 p.m. — The bus was out of service at the time of the crash. The driver was cited by Arlington Police, WTOP reports.
For a while, we’ve been offering a readers an email newsletter called the ARLnow.com Afternoon Update. We buried the link to the sign-up page because, well, we weren’t thrilled with the functionality. The emails looked kind of sloppy and we couldn’t get it to send at the exact time we wanted to.
Now, we’ve switched to a new service and we’re excited to tell you all about it. The new Afternoon Update will be sent at 4:00 p.m. daily, just in time for you to catch up on the day’s stories before heading home from work. The headlines are easier to read, it’s easier to subscribe and unsubscribe, and it’s now the sign-up confirmation emails are less likely to get caught in your spam filter.
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On this, the 50th 90+ degree day of the year, you’re probably already a pro at beating the heat. But just in case you need a refresher on hot weather best practices, here are a few resources that may come in handy.
For bike commuters, Bike Arlington’s Chris Eatough has a number of important tips for staying cool and hydrated on the road and non-smelly in the office. Among them: leave earlier in the morning, don’t wear a backpack and freeze your water bottles before heading out.
For pet owners, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington has advice for keeping your pets safe in hot weather. Limiting exercise for older dogs and dogs with thicker coats is recommended. Put sunscreen on your pet’s nose and ear tips if he or she is going to be out in the sun for awhile. And, of course, never, ever leave your pet in the car while running errands.
For people of all ages, Arlington County’s Hot Tips for Keeping Cool includes classic, common-sense hot weather advice that sometimes we can lose sight of in the midst of our busy schedules. For instance, if you’re going to be outside drink plenty of fluids, even if you’re not thirsty. Exercise in the morning or evening hours. And, again: never, ever leave kids or pets in the car unattended.
For local parents, the county’s spraygrounds are a great place for younger children to have fun and cool off. Check out the list of sprayground parks and their hours.
Finally, the county also has a page with tips for reducing your electricity usage during times of high power demand, such as hot and humid days like today.
Northern Virginia stands to lose $6 to $7 billion dollars through 2012 as a result of cuts in defense contracting announced yesterday, says George Mason University’s Stephen Fuller. But Arlington’s economic authority expects the impact on the county to be minimal.
“I do believe that we are positioned well for the future,” says Arlington Economic Development Director Terry Holzheimer.
Holzheimer admits that predicting the exact impact on Arlington economically is “complex,” and will not be known with a reasonable level of certainty until the Department of Defense comes out with its next budget. But, he says, the diversifying Arlington economy should be able to weather cuts in contracting as it has weathered BRAC.
“Our economy is in somewhat of a transition anyhow,” with more corporate, non-government and non-profit tenants moving in, Holzeimer said. He added that many of the contracting offices in Arlington perform lobbying and administrative functions — which are not likely to be heavily cut.
In terms of federal facilities, Holzheimer says that Arlington is especially well-positioned.
“It has zero impact on the Pentagon itself, and I don’t think it will have any impact on Ft. Myer,” Holzheimer said. He said that the other two big DoD facilities in Arlington — the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Office of Naval Research — probably will not feel much of an impact. In fact, he says, DARPA’s mission may be expanded.
Holzheimer said that Arlington also stands to benefit from a federal directive to put federal facilities in areas that are economically and environmentally-sustainable. Arlington’s transit infrastructure, pedestrian-friendliness and energy management make it an idea location.
“We are probably way ahead of everybody,” in terms of taking advantage of the directive, he said. “We’re fairly confident of our position.”
Police have reported another case of a woman being groped while walking at night.
At 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 4, police say a woman was walking down North 9th Street in Lyon Park when a man approached her and grabbed her breast. She screamed and the man ran away. He’s described by police as a 130 lb, 5’6″ Asian male.
The incident is similar to another reported sexual battery three days prior. In the August 1 incident, police were able to locate and arrest a suspect.
Heat It Up — Mother nature will attempt another run at triple digit temperatures today. The predicted high is 98 degrees. A Code Orange air quality alert has been issued for the region.
Mail Carrier Charged With Stealing Mail — An U.S. Postal Service employee at the Arlington Main Post Office has been charged with stealing mail. Alva Jackson is accused of swiping envelopes she thought might contain gift cards. Jackson, who worked as an Arlington mail carrier, was caught with 134 stolen pieces of mail in her house, according to charging documents. More from the Washington Examiner.
Cherrydale Condo Complex Back on Track — Construction of the Bromptons at Cherrydale condos (3800 Lee Highway) is expected to be completed by January 2011, a relief for neighbors who from 2006 to 2009 had to stare at the building’s half-finished facade. Construction stalled in 2006 when Arlington County determined the construction was of such poor quality that it temporarily shut down the project. More from TBD.
New Office Building Coming to Virginia Square — After seven years of development limbo, it appears that the Arlington Funeral Home in Virginia Square will finally be redeveloped. Plans to turn the site into a luxury condo building fell through in 2008 when the company that owned it at the time filed for bankruptcy. Now, the property has been sold to a local firm that plans to turn it into an office building. The company plans to include ground-floor retail, a public park and a public theater in the development, which will make it eligible for bonus density from the county. More from the Washington Business Journal.