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Elderly Woman Struck by Cab in Ballston Dies

by ARLnow.com — July 19, 2012 at 3:35 pm 5,422 75 Comments

The elderly woman struck by a cab in Ballston yesterday (Wednesday morning) has died.

Police say they’re still investigating the accident, which occurred at the intersection of Glebe Road and Carlin Springs Road. No charges have been filed, yet.

The 76 year-old victim of a pedestrian struck incident on July 18, 2012 in Arlington County has died from the injuries she sustained. The investigation is ongoing at this time.

Madela Anez de Walsh, 76, of Arlington, VA, was attempting to cross N. Carlin Springs Road at N. Glebe Road yesterday morning at 9:25 a.m., when she was struck by a taxi cab causing a significant head injury. Walsh was transported to Fairfax hospital following the incident, where she succumbed to her injuries around noon today.

The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene and is cooperating with the police investigation.

  • craig

    not good

    • http://nelsm4517@mac.com Ballston Commons

      That’s a terrible intersection. Two or three years ago the first auto death in Arlington was at the same intersection where a pedestrian was hit by a car coming out of the Ballston mall parking lot onto Glebe road.

      Feel so sorry for the poor elderly lady that died. Hope there is a full scale investigation.

      • charles

        Very sad. But a taxi is unsurprising – they are the worst drivers.

  • Bella Luna

    My condolences go out to the victim’s family.

    • george

      +1, very sad and unfortunate.

  • CrystalMikey

    R.I.P.

  • AJ

    cab makes right turn on red where it’s clearly marked “no right on red when pedestrians are present”, hits pedestrian, pedestrian dies. have to wonder what sort of extenuating circumstances would result in no charges being filed.

    • LP

      Do we know for a fact that the cab driver was making a right on red?

      • Jerry

        yeah, that guy dustin steinbeck released a statement the other day confirming it

        • esmith69

          I went back to the original story and don’t see Dustin Steinbeck mentioning anything about that. All I saw him state is that the woman was in the crosswalk trying to cross the road. Do you have a link to whatever it is that claims the driver turned on red?

        • chris

          THat guy Justin Steinbeck is an awful writer in my opinion…
          Victim of Pedestrian Struck Accident in Ballston Dies

          The 76 year-old victim of a pedestrian struck incident on July 18, 2012 in Arlington County has died from the injuries she sustained. The investigation is ongoing at this time.

          • Brian K

            the ACPD spokesman was quoted on NBC4 saying the cab made right on red.

            I’ll say it again, I hope they charge the driver with involuntary (I think thats correct) vehicular manslaughter

          • Brian K

            I’m actaully withdrawing my last statement as a below commentor said, if the cab had a red, the don’t walk signal was lightly illumnated on Glebe as they would have green light

      • AJ
    • esmith69

      How exactly do you know that the cab was making a right turn on red? Isn’t it also just as likely that the pedestrian was trying to cross when they didn’t have a proper “walk” signal?

      Until the investigation has concluded, let’s refrain from placing blame on anyone or speculating exactly what happened.

      • Justin

        Much more likely the car is in the wrong than the pedestrian. This happens hundreds of times per day in Arlington, cars breezing through pedestrian crosswalks with a walk signal, or through crosswalks in general. Everyone knows it but it takes a tragedy for this sort of thing to be brought to light.

        • JB

          Blame shouldn’t be placed on what is “likely”. Also, I’m not sure where you’re walking, but there are pedestrians that cross against the signals at the intersection of Lynn/Wilson, and Glebe/Fairfax all day, every day, just to name two major ones I cross multiple times a week. So I wouldn’t say it’s always more likely the car is at fault. If pedestrians and drivers both would just do what they are supposed to do and stop being in such a hurry, a lot less of this would happen.

        • Loocy

          Just next to the “NO RIGHT ON RED While Pedestrians are Present” is another sign that says “YIELD to PEDESTRIANS in Crosswalk”.

        • Westover

          I wouls say pedestrians in Arlington jay-walk more than cars run red lights each day by a factor of 10.

      • Bella Luna

        You make a valid point.

      • http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/crime-scene/post/pedestrian-hit-by-taxi-in-arlington/2012/07/18/gJQAQolhtW_blog.html JB

        “The taxi was turning right on a red light at about 9:30 a.m., said Dustin Sternbeck, a spokesman for Arlington police”

    • Aaron

      If the cab driver was making a right on a red light then it is extremely likely that the pedestrian had a “don’t walk” signal.

      While the “don’t hit pedestrians” caveat to the no turn on red sign obviously should have been in effect, the jaywalking may conceivably be a mitigating factor against charging the driver with anything serious.

      • Brian K

        You may actually be right here. The cab was on Carlin Springs which would have had a red light, thus Glebe would have a green light and peds have a do not cross. Hmm, more to consider. The only controlled left is coming from Glebe to Carlin Springs

        • PLinARL

          I think when the cars have a green light coming out of the mall (to go straight, right or left), the peds also have a walk sign. So it’s possible she had a walk and the cab was doing a right on red.

          • JJDRP

            She cannot have a walk if the cab had a red at that light. The walk sign comes on when the vehicle has a green light. I make that same right on Glebe almost every day. Drivers behind honk me all the time when pedestrians are crossing at that intersection and the ones coming from the garage turn left on to Glebe like there is no yield sign.

            Either way, the driver should have seen the pedestrian if he was paying attention and following the signs.

        • AJ

          the cab was on carlin springs?
          the pedestrian was CROSSING carlin springs – see the article above.

          if the cab had a red, as indicated by the police spokesperson, then the pedestrian likely had a walk sign.

          • Jerri

            I don’t think the article is clear as to which crosswalk she was in.

          • AJ

            Madela Anez de Walsh, 76, of Arlington, VA, was attempting to cross N. Carlin Springs Road at N. Glebe Road yesterday morning at 9:25 a.m., when she was struck by a taxi cab causing a significant head injury.

            i don’t know how you’d be attempting to cross carlin springs by being in a different crosswalk, but okay.

          • Jerri

            Oh sorry, when you said “article above” I looked at the article you posted from the Post above.

          • Brian K

            yep, then the cabbie was clearly at fault, and should be charged apportitely. Failure to yield to ped, failure to obey traffic signage, vehicular manslaughter … lock him up

  • JohnB2

    Poor lady. R.I.P.

  • Salmon Ella

    That intersection is really a disaster. I am shocked more people aren’t hit there. They need to rework that light for pedestrians. They get a walk signal the same time people coming out of the garage do. It’s an accident waiting to happen.

    • JohnB2

      They also need a left turn light coming from Carlin Springs to northbound Glebe. The cars back up trying to turn left and the turn light would allow the crosswalk signal to stay red, reducing the risk to people crossing Glebe.

  • AMC

    How terribly sad – it is such a terrible intersection – perhaps this will bring some attention to the changes that need to be made.

    • Aaron

      That would be the only possibly good outcome from this tragedy. It’s a pity that given the seemingly unlimited resources at the County staff’s disposal that they don’t put more effort into fixing problems that look obvious to all of us.

    • Greg

      +1. It’s unfortunate, but for years people said the intersection of N Fairfax and Glebe needed a left-turn arrow. Nothing was done until a woman was killed there 7-8 years ago.

      Same thing here. Anyone trying to turn onto Glebe from Carlin Springs knows how bad this intersection is with all the pedestrians crossing. Maybe now someone will improve things.

      • Arlingtonian

        The County has been planning to “improve” the intersection for at least ten years. The project is supposed to begin next fall.

        The “improvements” will not help much, because just about all of the accidents and near-misses occur when a pedestrian and/or vehicle operator does something illegal at the intersection. The “improvements” won’t stop this.

        • Westover

          This makes all kinds of sense.

          Everybody want to play amateur traffic engineer when something like this happens, or turn to the government to nanny us all along.

          Accidents will happen when people disobey the rules.

  • Carmen

    So sad. May she rest in peace.

  • Seeing it like it is

    When is ACPD going to release this video???

  • Tabby_TwoTone

    Awful.

  • novasteve

    RIP

    • observer

      If only you had been there to lift her out of the way, as you did with the woman being run down by Rolling Thunder bikers.

  • neerveer

    I think I see blood in the photo shown above, which is picturing a police officer standing on N. Glebe Rd, in the right hand lane facing on-coming traffic. The article states the lady was crossing N.Carlyn Springs Rd. The cab driver could of had the red light on Carlyn Springs Rd., no one in the crosswalk ,then looked left to see if any cars were coming down Glebe Rd. heading south. He sees a break in the traffic and makes his right turn (with no one in Glebe Rds crosswalk) as the lady stepped of the curb right in front of him (thinking he was stopped) to cross Carlyn Springs Rd. This could happen…either way its Murder in the 2nd.

    Also,Arlington Hospital is only a mile or so away. She probably would still be alive if she was taken there. Arlington Hospital is the best.

    • Calabria

      VHC is only a mile away, but to say she’d “probably still be alive if she was taken there” is a terrible jump to make. VHC isn’t a trauma center, and Fairfax is; I don’t think that VHC would be equipped to deal with the type of head trauma the woman suffered (among other injuries, possibly, but that depends on how fast the cab was going and where the woman was hit).

      • neerveer

        Calabria, you took 14 minutes to reply to a comment I posted July 19th at 5:07pm. Thats plenty of time to re-read/proofread before you submit.
        Arlington Hospital is only 1.26 miles from the scene of the accident, much closer then Fairfax Hospital. Hence my statement,”She probably would still be alive if she was taken there (ie;Arlington Hospital)
        Virginia Hospital Center (VHC) which I never mentioned by the way…for good reason, is over 2 miles away.
        Fairfax,no doubt was her best 2nd choice.

  • Arlingtonian

    The intersection of Glebe Road and N. Carlin Springs Road is one of the most hazardous ones in the entire County. About 20 years ago, Arlington County planners decided to construct a pedestrian bridge over Glebe Road (from the Ballston Common garage to the Goodyear store site) to permit pedestrians to avoid this intersection.

    The County assured that an entrance to the bridge was included the site plan for Ballston Tower (the high-rise on Glebe Road containing Union Jack’s on its ground floor). The entrance was subsequently constructed. It is still there.

    The County then applied for and received a grant of about $1 million from the Commonwealth of Virginia to build the bridge. However, the County did nothing with the funds.

    In 2008, the County Board adopted an provision in the Pedestrian Element of the Master Transportaton Plan that discourages the construction of pedestrian bridges and underpasses of major roads. The Board adopted this provision to force pedestrians to use stay on sidewalks to help ground-floor retail establishments increase their profits by attracting customers. This provision is still in place.

    At about the same time, the Board voted to ask the Commonwealth of Virginia to permit the County to redirect the funds for the bridge to other transportation “improvement” projects. Neither the Board nor the County staff informed the public or the affected neighborhood civic associations about this pending vote until about a week before the meeting when the Board advertised it on its consent agenda.

    The Commonwealth agreed, and the County redirected the funds. In June 2012, the Board held a public hearing on a site plan for a residential building on the Goodyear store site. The building would not contain an entrance for a pedestrian bridge. At the hearing, the Board discussed the possiblity of constructing the bridge. No Board members spoke in favor of the bridge.

    The Board then voted 5-0 to approve the site plan without an entrance to bridge. That is the end of the idea for the bridge.

    This pedestrian might have used the bridge and avoided the accident that ended her life. Other pedestrians may in the future receive life-threatening or fatal injuries at the intersection because of the absence of the bridge.

    This is what happens when people vote for County Board members who support economic development at the expense of pedestrian safety.

    • Tabby_TwoTone

      Thank you.

  • ArlRes

    While the bridge would definitely be helpful, it notes she was crossing carlin springs, not glebe, so the bridge would not have been of assistance to her.

    • Arlingtonian

      Many (probably most) pedestrians crossing Carlin Springs Road at the intersection are walking to or from Ballston Common. They cross both Glebe Road and Carlin Springs Road.

      Nobody will be able to ask this pedestrian whether she was attempting this hazardous trip. However, she probably was.

      • Arlingtonian

        Note that if a bridge had crossed Glebe Road, the pedestrian could have avoided her crossing of Carlin Springs Road if she was traveling to or from Ballston Common. She would have travelled between the bridge and the Ballston Common mall on the building’s second floor.

  • confused

    I often walk up Clarendon Blvd. from Rosslyn. I have always been amazed that at each intersection the cars coming out of the side streets look to their left to see if cars are approaching and hardly ever look to their right to see if there is a pedestrian trying to cross and plow through without even a slowdown let alone a “stop on red”. This occurs whether they have the green or red light. I think at these intersections there should be a green arrow when they can go freely. And while I am on the subject of driving around here, what is it with the kof green arrows to turn left and major intersection? Pedestrians have the walk sign and the cars turning left have the green light, but they would rather get through the light than let pedestrians walk.

    • confused

      kof was meant to be lack of

    • Trish

      This is why I ALWAYS make sure I get eye contact with drivers before I cross, even if I have the walk sign in my favor.

      And where are you seeing left turn arrows at the same time as walk signs? They never go together. If they do, something’s wrong.

      • confused

        I may have mis-spoke. I was in Crystal city last weekend and they had left turn lights. This does not seem to be true in Clarendon, or the corridor from Rosslyn to Ballston. Am I wrong?

        • Trish

          Well, a lot of places have left turn lights, so that’s certainly right. What I meant was that there should never be an intersection where there’s a left turn light AND a walk sign lit up at the same time for the same direction (which is what I thought you meant).

        • suzy

          They do have a right turn green arrow at Courthouse and Clarendon. It is the only time cars can turn right at that intersection. Pedestrians completely and totally ignore the “don’t walk” sign so in effect, a car can never actually turn right. Turn arrows are a good idea in theory, but pedestrians need to obey the signs too.

      • drax

        Yep – eye contact. Never assume.

        Always cross behind a car trying to turn right too, not in front.

  • Andy

    It’s only a matter of time until a pedestrian is seriously injured or killed in one of the two crosswalks across N Quincy St at N 9th St, near Sichwan Wok.

    This intersection really needs four-way stop signs (but NOT a stoplight).

    • Rick

      There is a traffic control device (3 lights and a four way stop) in <500 feet in every direction of that intersection. Another one here would gridlock this grey area of Ballston-Virginia Square.

    • Brian K

      +a million

  • CW

    So very sad, and I think the worst fear of all of us who love the walkability of this area.

    I do not usually get into this sort of minutiae which may be interpreted as political correctness or whatever, but is it really imperative that this article have “elderly” in the article title as a modifier? What does that contribute? Many stereotypes of the elderly are that they are frail, deaf, have dementia, whatever, so including that in the article title almost makes it look like they are trying to paint her as at fault. She was a human, why not leave it at that?

    • Tabby_TwoTone

      I hear you, CW. I thought of my parents, who are in their 70s, and
      they’re slower than they used to be, but they’re not frail. My dad can’t kick butt on the tennis courts due to tennis elbow, but he runs on the treadmill. Mom gardens like a champ.

      Elderly is a sh*tty adjective.

      • Clarendon

        70 isn’t even that old these days. My parents were very spry in their 70′s up until their late 80′s. My mom, now in her 90′s would and could walk around town if we let her, but we don’t.

  • http://Www.arlnow.com Lauren

    So sorry to read the news. This will be rough for lots of folks. RIP

  • Likes to see business kept local

    The best situation would be make right on red illegal like it is in the District.

    I’m in Alexandria, and too often I see people roll through red lights as if they were green.

    It’s a great idea to have right on red to save fuel and time, but not a good idea for keeping pedestrians safe.

    • Likes to see comments kept based in reality

      Right on red is legal in the District unless posted specifically “NO TURN ON RED,” with or without specific hours.

      • Tabby_TwoTone

        In DC, can you turn left on red after a full stop when it’s a one-way street? I’ve Googled it and not found a clear answer.

        • drax

          Last time I heard you canNOT do that in DC.

    • drax

      Right on red is legal in the District, I think.

  • Collot

    There is no justice like mob justice

    • Jakery

      Prosecuting the taxi driver would send a message to at leat the cab companies that Arlington is serious about yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks. I don’t see that as any form of “mob justice”!

      • drax

        Prosecuting the tax driver if he’s not responsible would be though. That’s the point. We don’t know.

  • James

    The issue with Arlington is that there is just too much foot traffic and even when cars have the right of way, pedestrians still cross when they shouldn’t. The same goes for when pedestrians have the right of way and cars are trying to turn right on a green and the amount of pedestrian traffic jams up the turn lane and traffic backs up.

    Arlington needs to implement 4 way walks where no traffic can proceed and all pedestrians at intersections may cross. That means all lights are red at an intersection and for 15-20 seconds pedestrians can cross. BUT after that time, pedestrians are NOT allowed to cross at any time until the next all way walk.

  • Ella Johnson

    I live in this retirement complex. I haven’t attempted to cross that intersection to go to the mall in over 5 years. It scares the hell out of me. The way I see it, the driver was on Carlin making a right on red onto Glebe. Therefore, the victim had the walk sign. The talk of a walkway has been up in the air since 2000. Now I see from the comments here it is no longer an option.

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