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Pedestrian Struck on Route 50

by ARLnow.com | June 9, 2012 at 9:45 am | 4,926 views | 93 Comments

A woman was struck and seriously injured by a vehicle on Route 50 overnight, according to police.

“At 2:30 am, an adult female attempted to cross Route 50, just prior to the on-ramp to Washington Boulevard, after darting out from the tree line,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “The driver was unable to stop his vehicle in time and the pedestrian was struck. She remains in critical condition at GW Hospital.”

Several lanes of eastbound Route 50 were closed for an extended period of time while police investigated the accident. Those lanes had reopened by 5:30 a.m.

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  • T.D.

    Shouldn’t the headline read differently? You read it and think, “Oh, gee, another inattentive driver…” until you read the details. It was the pedestrian who is (or at least should be) at fault. I mean, really, as a full-time pedestrian, I can say it’s out and out stupidity for anyone to “dart out from behind a tree line” to cross a major road at 2:30 in the morning. And it’s not even like that part of 50 is made for pedestrians! That’s ASKING to get hurt. The way the headline’s written, though, you’d think the driver was at fault.

    • Tabs

      I didn’t read it that way.

      What would you prefer?

  • T.D.

    Something like “Pedestrian Darts in Front of Car on 50, injured”

    • Tabs

      I think the headline is neutral.

      I hope for the driver’s sake that he hadn’t had one drop of the drink.

      • mick

        “car stuck by pedestrian” would be more appropriate no?

        • brian

          Where is her name and her condition?

          We’ve reported these route 66 runner before.

          surely she damaged some cars or banged on garage doors before running on to route 50?

  • jigga

    dang bath salts

  • JohnB2

    Bad place to cross 50, even if it wasn’t at 2:30 in the morning. Hopefully the driver isn’t too traumatized from the pedestrian’s poor choice.

  • Michael H.

    There are a lot of aggressive/inattentive drivers (and yes, cyclists too), but there are also a lot of foolish pedestrians. I see a lot of bad behavior among all users of local roads and trails. I’m surprised by how many people actually think that they have the right to step right into oncoming traffic and expect that car drivers, cyclists and runners have to come to a screeching halt. It’s not that the person doesn’t see the oncoming traffic. They just don’t care.

    In many cases, I will make eye contact with the person while I’m riding down a road. There will be no crosswalk or any other indication that the person can cross the road into traffic, but some people will step ahead, and then immediately come to nearly a complete stop, barely moving ahead even though that person is jaywalking into traffic. I’ve seen other pedestrians do this with cars, expecting them to stop suddenly in the middle of a block.

    And today, in the middle of a 5K run race that I did, a passerby clearly saw runners coming toward her, with well over 20 seconds of warning. But she decided to step into the path of the runners and then immediately slowed down, expecting everyone to stop suddenly for her. I almost crashed into her. She didn’t say sorry or make any attempt to move faster until we almost collided.

    It’s sad when someone gets hit, but I can’t say I’m surprised to hear what this pedestrian did, if the account is accurate.

    • Michael H.

      Even on the way to the race, when I took a taxi, a woman walked right into the road without even bothering to look if there were any cars headed in her direction. She was jaywalking in the middle of a block. No crosswalk, no walk signs and no stop signs for the oncoming cars.

      The taxi driver had to stop suddenly. The woman obviously heard the car, but even after the near-miss, she didn’t bother moving faster, and she barely acknowledged the taxi. She merely glanced over her shoulder and continued her slow walk across 4 lanes of traffic. Unbelievable.

      • Jason S.

        This is exactly why it should be perfectly legal to hit a pedestrian who is completely out of line. It should be no different than hitting a dog in the legal sense.

        • http://blacknell.net/dynamic/ MB

          [insert universal New Yorker caption]

          • Pattib

            Let’s be sensitive here. It could be a suicide attempt.

        • Curious George

          And it should be legal to use deadly force against a motorist that runs a stop sign.

          • Jason S.

            We already punish them when caught, pedestrians are just ignored which is why they hilariously get creamed often in the DC area for playing in traffic.

          • Curious George

            No we don’t.

          • Jason S.

            Sure, sure. I saw one of our low-end loser cops drive right past two people standing in the middle of Fairfax Drive not even at crosswalk. Great enforcement.

          • AllenB

            I’m left hoping that if you get “creamed” by a car, others will find it hilarious too.

          • Jason S.

            If I’m playing in the highway at 0230 and get creamed, laugh all you want.

          • Josh S

            Even if you give us permission, Jason, it’s still not the appropriate response.

          • drax

            The victim in this case didn’t give you permission though, Jason.

        • Undereducated

          In a sense, it is in Maryland, Virginia, and the District, all of which have Contributory Negligence statutes. So, cyclists and pedestrians, don’t look for much of a settlement in Virginia, MD, or DC if you step out into oncoming traffic against a light, or jay walk, or if you blow through a stop sign on your bike and get nailed. If your negligence contributed to the accident, it offsets the negligence, if any, of the driver. Oh, and that cyclist that gets “doored”, too bad, don’t ride so close to parked cars, that is negligent.

          • Jason S.

            I never trust people parking on the side of the road when using the bike lane, people around here just do whatever they want without thinking about others around them.

          • Undereducated

            I’ve driven for over 40 years and I’ve never hit someones door. I can’t imagine why it should be a problem for cyclists who have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as drivers.

          • Jason S.

            I think it’s because people just *assume* everybody is completely aware of them or should be aware of them. It’s a lack of defensive riding. When you’re a pretty princess like most of the guys in Arlington, you just assume everybody is concerned about your well being.

          • AnotherMark

            Virginia Code § 46.2-905 says that cyclists “shall ride as close as safely practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway” with a few exceptions (avoiding hazards, making left turns, etc.). Cyclists riding on heavily-traveled roads with parked cars on the side have to balance the risk of getting rear-ended by a moving car with the risk of running into a suddenly opened door. Pick your poison. I assume that no one sees me on my bike and I’m always happy when I’m wrong about that.

          • drax

            You don’t see how it could be possible to hit a door while still being completely responsible as a cyclist? Really?

            You’re riding along, carefully, and suddenly someone opens their door. You hit it.

            Just because it hasn’t happened to you doesn’t mean it can’t, or that you’re somehow special.

          • Spectator

            So true, I had a coworker whose father was hit by a car and died later, and she was extremely unhappy when the courts did not penalize the driver for hitting her father. Apparently, her father was not within a crosswalk, so the contributory negligence statue came into play in the case.

          • Undereducated

            CN is a little known statute that would change peoples’ reckless behavior if they were knowledgeable. Crosswalks do not give pedestrians the right of way if it is not safe to proceed.

          • Jason S.

            They are just relying on drivers’ distaste for ramming somebody with their car (or at least their distaste with the hassle that it would involve). Stepping into traffic is a childish and selfish way to feel important by inconveniencing others who are using public property in a legal manner. At some point, I would like our C students to start issuing tickets for it.

          • CW

            My understanding is that CN is absolute. I’ve heard people go so far as to state that if you are going 31 in a 30 and get hit by a drunk driver who blows a red light, you lose grounds for a suit. Is it that strict?

          • elizabeth

            Um…they do if they have the crossing sign… even if there is a turn lane not forcing a full stop at a red light in the straight on position. I almost got creamed while running (no iPod) while in a crosswalk, crossing appropriately… the guy was speeding AND not paying attention while there wasn’t a lot of traffic. I was watching for cars and jumped back in time and he gave ME an irritated look- I waved him on- no WAY I was crossing in front of HIM! And it was on Lee Hwy and Fairview Pk Dr…no darting, though I doubt he knew I was there until he was on top of me…see it all the time…drivers…pay attention!

          • bobco85

            I agree with everything you said up to the point of “Oh, and that cyclist…”

            Drivers are responsible for controlling all aspects of their vehicles. This includes opening a part of the car (e.g., a door) into a lane of traffic. There is no negligence for a cyclist riding in their designated lane of traffic.

            DC has a law stating that a driver must only open their door when it is safe to do so. Maryland only states that the driver cannot open their door on purpose to strike a person. Virginia, sadly, has no law about this.

          • dirty biker

            (Really) Undereducated,

            As far as I know in all 50 states (CA is a little weird on this) the driver would be held liable for obstructing traffic with the car door- it is the DRIVER’S responsibility to ensure that the coast is clear before opening their door. As cited below, the cyclist, by code, is supposed to ride as far right as possible and since they are legally traveling in a lane, have ROW. It’s no different from pulling out of a spot and hitting a moving car- you, the car without ROW hit the vehicle with ROW. Thus, you lose. Well, the cyclist really loses, but unless the cyclist is going the wrong way on the street you are in the wrong and they aren’t even in the same zipcode as contributory negligence.

            So- good on examples 1-3 but 4, notsomuch. From what I understand Rich Berman doored a cyclist in DC a few years ago… tried to sue the cyclist, lost.

          • Undereducated

            Hi DirtyBiker, AnotherMark states above, Virginia Code § 46.2-905 says that cyclists “shall ride as close as safely practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway” Note the Code uses practicable, not possible. Prac·ti·ca·ble/ˈpraktikəbəl/Adjective: 1.Able to be done or put into practice successfully. 2.Able to be used; useful. If you are riding so close to parked cars as to hit an opening door, I would say that by definition you were outside the bounds of “safely practicable”, since you hit a parked car’s door. Then again there is the thing about liability going to the last person that was reasonably able to avoid the accident, but that is for another thread.

          • dirty biker

            Noop- not applicable in the case of dooring, you opened your door into legally moving traffic, it’s your bad not the traffic’s. The stat usually reads like this:

            “No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open upon the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.”

            As long as the bike is traveling legally and there are no other contributing factors- it is the car’s fault. Proximity to the parked car as required by the flow of traffic and other statutes does not excuse the driver. Check out a bike lane sometime, they are almost always right up against the parked cars and are clearly lanes of travel.

            The real problem is that it happens so quickly- there you are minding your own business and someone in a car swings the door 3′ into your lane… BANG. SPLAT. Often the driver is hanging out in the car, perhaps on a phone, perhaps waiting form something so there is little or no warning that the door is going to open.

            As a corollary, if you pulled over on I-66 in a narrow break down lane and had your door ripped off would you contend that it was the traffic’s fault that your door entered their lane? Clearly they were “too close to your door…”

          • Julie

            In many places the bike lane is next to the parking lane.

  • Dezlboy

    About two blocks west on Rt 50 is a crossing light at Fillmore. It’s so much safer, esp at night.

    • Neutrino

      There’s a crossing under 50 at Washington Blvd.

  • http://blacknell.net/dynamic/ MB

    So how did ACPD know that the pedestrian “dart[ed] out from the tree line”? Because the driver that struck her said so! What else would he say?

    Seriously, if you want to kill anyone, just run them down in a car and say they jumped/swerved/darted in front of you. You won’t get hassled by the police, and most anonymous internet commenters will commend you.

    • @MB

      You’re making a lot of assumptions. Maybe another motorist/witness saw it. Maybe the female was conscious when they found her. Maybe they found footprints in the tree line area. Maybe a police officer witnessed it. Maybe a traffic camera picked it up.

      The bottom line is that this woman was in the middle of a highway at 2:30am. The courts will ultimately decide who was at fault, if it comes to that. But until then, the limited facts we have are certainly not in the woman’s favor.

  • buck lenox

    Why would a woman dart out of the bushes at 2:30 am unless she was running from someone or something? Not suggesting the driver was at fault, but I hope the police investigate a lot further and don’t treat this as a foolish pedestrian incident.

    • Tabs

      Thank you.

    • Tommy

      Many individuals in this community walking around at 0230 hours are completely intoxicated.

      • CW

        The sky is blue and everyone likes ice cream; what’s your point?

    • Tommy

      And 3 incidents on Route 50 that come to mind were fatal accidents involving intoxicated pedestrians using the middle of the highway as a sidewalk.

    • Josh S

      Cause she wanted to cross the road?

      Why jump to this – she was running from someone – business? Heck, she’d be even crazier to try to cross Rte 50 WITHOUT running.

      • Jason S.

        Every time somebody gets hit by a car while doing something incredibly reckless, the crazy extenuating theories come out of the woodwork.

        • Jason S.

          …extenuating circumstance theories…

    • drax

      Because she was trying to cross the road without getting hit by a car.

  • DeportEmAll

    Any identity info on the pedestrian/perp?

  • buck lenox

    How many women do you know who’d run out into the middle of the street in the middle of the night (drunk or otherwise?) I’d expect that type of behavior from a drunk young man, but these circumstances are definitely worth looking into much further.

    • mick

      that’s sexist bro.

      • Neutrino

        Exactly. Women are certainly neither smarter nor wiser than men.

  • relative

    you insensitive bastards. You don’t know her and you don’t know what happened out there. Don’t you dare judge her when you don’t even know what she was doing there in the first place.
    Stop trash talking a 20 year old innocent girl who had her whole life in front of her. Don’t you dare!

    • Tabs

      Please don’t let people hiding behind the anonymity of a computer screen get you upset.

      Your last comment has me worried that she hasn’t made it…is that the case, or is she still in critical condition?

    • Smith Beneton

      Not believing “relative” is real.

      • drax

        relatives seems very real. even if he/she isn’t, the poster makes a good point.

        • brian

          then what would that make our points if the reply poster isn’t real?

  • WeiQiang

    While I acknowledge Jason’s assessment of my princessness, I believe that – even if drivers check their mirrors – they are looking for something the size of a car. Call it selective perception, but bikes may not register. People have an idea of what a car will look like in the mirror and bikes don’t meet that preconceived notion.

    • Jason S.

      People do often assume because they see somebody, that person must *obviously* see them as well. Still, it’s a good idea to look if there is a bike lane and it’s a good idea to remember that the bike lane is right next to drivers’ doors.

      • WeiQiang

        While bike lanes are a good ldea, I think drivers and [more inexperienced] cyclists still haven’t adapted to having them, behaviorally. As a driver and cyclist, all I can do is as much as I can to be hyper-vigilant and tp not be in a hurry. I think it’s a fundamental lack of consideration by drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians – all at different times in different scenarios – that creat the chain of events necessary to kill and injure others.

        Anecdote of the Day: Going around Memorial Circle on Sat, I saw two cars near the Wash Blvd ramp under Mem Bridge. Rear end collision … and lots of bikes using the crosswalk.

        • CW

          I am a full time cycle commuter and weekend recreational rider and I detest bike lanes. They really don’t do anything but put riders in the door zone and open them up to “right hooks” from turning traffic. Think of it this way – if traffic is flowing full speed then there is probably room for cars to get around a slower-moving cyclist. In many cases with the way this county stages traffic lights, it’s not even worth it. If traffic is gridlocked, the cyclist picks his was through traffic and doesnt hurt anybody (legal in DC, not sure about VA). The point being that riding like a vehicle is smarter and doesn’t really inconvenience anyone. I use cycle lanes where provided and feasible, but in some stretches I defer to the safer move of taking a lane.

          • Neutrino

            I won’t use bike lanes and Virginia and the District don’t legally force me. Always, take the lane.

  • a

    You people should be ashamed! Who the hell are you to judge her and what happened?! I have been to the place where the accident took place and there is no way she got hit where the driver said she got hit. He hit her going at least 45mph, and there is no sign of him even hitting the breaks. She was by a bus stop when the accident happen. You should be ashamed for being so small minded and stupid. You’re nothing else but pathetic losers that apparently don’t have anything better to do.

    • JamesE

      welcome to the internet, is this your first time using a computer?

      • a

        sarcasm, nice. It must have felt really necessary.

    • Andrew

      What comments have people made that are judging the victim?

      Are you accusing the driver of moving the victim after he struck her?

      Odd you would accuse people of being judgemental, then go on to call us all small minded, stupid, and pathetic losers.

      • a

        I’m not saying that he moved her but he was going at least 45mph, he says she jumped over the road rail and into the road and still ended up right next to where she supposedly got hit. Getting hit by a minivan in 45mph would not make you end up in the lane next to the accident. And yes I do think it’s BS to talk so much crap about an accident

        “How many women do you know who’d run out into the middle of the street in the middle of the night ”

        “They are just relying on drivers’ distaste for ramming somebody with their car (or at least their distaste with the hassle that it would involve). Stepping into traffic is a childish and selfish way to feel important by inconveniencing others who are using public property in a legal manner”

        “Bad place to cross 50, even if it wasn’t at 2:30 in the morning. Hopefully the driver isn’t too traumatized from the pedestrian’s poor choice.”

        “Shouldn’t the headline read differently? You read it and think, “Oh, gee, another inattentive driver…” until you read the details. It was the pedestrian who is (or at least should be) at fault.”

        How would you feel if it was your loved one?!

        • Quoth the Raven

          People are making assumptions about what they think happened, which is pretty common. Just my opinion, but rather than blasting people for insensitive comments, why not share more facts with us? Assuming you know more about it, of course.

          • drax

            Or maybe people should simply stop making assumptions.

          • brian

            Or maybe the reporting should have more facts.

          • drax

            Yes, brian, but it doesn’t, so you have to wait for them, and not make assumptions.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Yes, that would be brilliant. Unless and until everyone has every fact imaginable, we should refrain from making any and all comments. Thank you, Comment Police Guy!

        • Tabby_TwoTone

          “Getting hit by a minivan in 45mph would not make you end up in the lane next to the accident.”

          Huh? A girl I went to school with was hit by a speeding van and flew something like 80 feet onto someone’s lawn. No, she didn’t make it.

          And the first comment you quoted was SUPPORTIVE of the pedestrian.

          • brian

            ““Getting hit by a minivan in 45mph would not make you end up in the lane next to the accident.””

            You can land just about any where being hit by a vehicle.

          • WeiQiang

            Not by the laws of physics, but your point “just about” is probably correct that a person hit by a vehicle might realistically land in places that many folks might think impossible.

        • Eds

          I for one wouldn’t grouse about comments people post on the internet b/c I know there’s nothing I could do to stop it. I also know that despite how much I love my family, they are capable of making poor decisions, and sometimes it’s not someone elses fault when things happen.

    • Tabby_TwoTone

      The speed limit is 45 there, so he wasn’t speeding.

      • a

        Oh i’m sorry that you can’t read but I wrote at least 45mph and i’m well aware that the speed limit is 45 there I am also well aware of how much the people speed on that road.

        • Tabby_TwoTone

          You’re a real charmer.

        • Clarendoom

          You go on to say “Getting hit by a minivan in 45mph would not make you end up….” so I think Tabby_TwoTone’s reading skills are not at fault. Perhaps you need to learn to express yourself more clearly.

  • CW

    More facts, please.

    • brian

      nope, not here

    • Quoth the Raven

      “a”, who claims to be a “loved one” of the victim, probably has the facts, but “a” is busy criticizing other folks’ comments; there is no time to actually provide facts!

  • TT

    Well, I have a few facts.

    My boyfriend was out having a cigarette at 2 am when four loud, rowdy (seemingly quite drunk) individuals came walking down our street. The female (victim) then ran into our lawn, opened the chain link gate, ran into our backyard, and scaled the fence towards route 50. Her friends yelled after her, and my boyfriend and roommate tried helping them find her, but weren’t able to find her.

    We talked to police today and it was the same female who was hit by the car. She has been identified and while she is in critical condition, she is expected to be okay. The driver was not found to be at fault.

    It is truly unfortunate for both the driver and the female. She made a mistake by drinking too much, and probably wasn’t aware of her surroundings. That said, I think we should refrain from all the judgmental accusations. I think she learned her lesson the very hard way. Hopefully this can be a wake up call to all of us to exercise caution when we drink.

    • UptonHiller

      Thanks for this info.

    • buck lenox

      Thanks for the details. Were the rowdy people she was with male or female? Why would she run from them like that and scale a fence — sounds like she could’ve been trying to flee a dangerous situation? Might they have been harassing her?

      • TT

        No, she wasn’t fleeing. The other people were one female and two males, and they were all her friends. Her female friend was telling her not to walk in strangers’ yards because “Americans are crazy and have guns and shoot people for that.” (I believe both the females were Eastern European). Maybe that freaked her out and she took off?

        The accident happened a little ways down from our house, so she must have wandered around – maybe something scared her later, but I’d guess it was just the influence of alcohol.

        • Tabs

          I wonder if she’s one of our pool lifeguards.

    • Igor

      I hope the legal genius novast_v_ does not see this, because he will probably try to file suit against you for have an unlocked gate and a too low fence that people can climb over.

  • f

    Even though you people don’t deserve this info you got it and yes you should all be ashamed of yourselves just like “a” pointed out. Are you that cruel? How would you feel if it was your sister/mother/niece/best friend/relative that was in that hospital bed, fighting not one but several injuries to not talk about traumatic experience! Would you really be able to read these comments and go “hey, you know what, it’s okay for them to call my “mom” suicidal or crazy….” “they’re right, hope the driver is ok…he is the one you should feel sorry about”
    This girl SURVIVED being hit by a car at approx 45mph……
    Could you, with a clear conscious, say that you would not react the same way? If not, then you truly are cruel and stupid, and I feel sorry for you!

    • Glebe Roader

      If I had a loved one in a hospital bed fighting several injuries, I would not be trolling around wondering what comments anonymous people are posting.

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