49°Mostly Cloudy

by ARLnow.com — October 22, 2014 at 2:45 pm 4,033 0

A man who got drunk, sped down the wrong way of a one-way street in Clarendon and caused a crash that seriously injured a pedestrian earlier this year has pleaded guilty to a felony charge.

Pentagon City resident Benjamin Andruss, 37, pleaed guilty yesterday to felony DUI maiming. He is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

The crash happened between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 12. Prosecutors say Andruss had just left First Down Sports Bar in Ballston, where he had consumed 4-5 beers and three glasses of whiskey while watching afternoon football games. A friend encouraged him to take a cab, but Andruss insisted on driving.

Andruss drove from the Ballston Common Mall parking garage to Clarendon, revving the engine of his Mercedes-Benz at stop lights and “speeding the whole way,” prosecutors said. At the intersection of Wilson, Clarendon and Washington Blvds, he again revved his engine at the stop light, then accelerated straight through the intersection when the light turned green.

Andruss sped the wrong way down Wilson Blvd, past Spider Kelly’s and other bars. His Mercedes ran up on the sidewalk, striking the side of the Clarendon War Memorial. In his path was a pedestrian, a man around 30 years old who works for the U.S. Department of Energy.

The pedestrian tried to dive out of the way, but Andruss struck a parked car, which then struck the pedestrian. The man regained consciousness in the middle of the street.

From a statement of facts entered by prosecutors as part of the plea:

He was taken by ambulance to GW Hospital, where he was treated for numerous injuries to his head and left elbow. Both required serious treatment. His head required more than a dozen staples. His broken elbow required surgery, the insertion of a metal plate, and screws to ensure regained functionality. The elbow now has a permanent visible scar. And [the victim], despite weeks of physical therapy, has yet to regain – and may never regain – a full range of motion.

After the crash, the Defendant exited the vehicle and appeared to try to walk away. He was prevented from doing so by onlookers. The Defendant was described as unsteady on his feet, with slurred speech and bloodshot/glassy eyes. He repeatedly “fell” into an officer’s arms as they spoke. The Defendant admitted to drinking and refused to perform all field sobriety tests. He was placed under arrest at 9:20pm.

“Mr. Andruss made a series of poor decisions that evening,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Josh Katcher told ARLnow.com. “He drank too much, he didn’t take a cab, he drove recklessly from Ballston to Clarendon, and then he drove the wrong way, down the wrong street, at the wrong time.”

“Try to imagine this from the victim’s perspective: he’s minding his own business, walking down a sidewalk, when he hears an engine revving, sees a set of headlights speeding towards him, and has no more than a second to try to dive out of the way,” Katcher continued. “Next thing he knows he is on his back in the middle of the street with people looking down at him telling him not to move. This is the type of mayhem that happens when people drink and drive. There is no defense, no reason, and no excuse for this type of behavior.”

Andruss is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 6, 2015. He’s expected to receive a sentence of 1-5 years in prison.

This is not the only legal trouble Andruss is facing. Three days after the crash he was fired, and a week after that he was sued by his former employer, accused of making hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of improper purchases on his company credit card and withdraws from the company checking account, all while deliberately concealing evidence of his actions.

by ARLnow.com — October 9, 2014 at 11:30 am 5,063 0

Route 50 at Irving Street (photo via Google Maps)A cyclist was seriously hurt when a car ran a red light on Route 50 and struck her in the crosswalk last night, according to police.

The 26-year-old woman was crossing Route 50 (Arlington Blvd) at N. Irving Street just after 6:00 p.m. when a driver in a westbound Honda Accord blew through the red light, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The woman was struck and thrown a distance, landing on the westbound lanes, Sternbeck said. She was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital with “significant and critical injuries.”

The driver, identified only as a 46-year-old Arlington man, remained on scene. He’s facing several charges, Sternbeck said.

Rush hour traffic was “significantly impacted” during the accident investigation. All but one lane in each direction was closed for about two hours, according to Arlington Alerts.

File photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — October 7, 2014 at 2:15 pm 3,954 0

Virginia State Police badgeVirginia State Police is investigating a crash that killed a motorcyclist early Sunday morning.

Police were called to Washington Blvd near I-395 at 2:20 a.m. for reports of a single-vehicle crash. When police arrived on the scene they found the victim’s motorcycle, but not the driver. After a search, 27-year-old Joel A. Morales of Woodbridge was found in a nearby wooded area. He died at the scene.

Police believe Morales was driving westbound on Washington Blvd from the I-395 off ramp when he apparently struck a jersey barrier. He was thrown from his motorcycle and landed below the overpass in the wooded area. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

Arlington County police assisted VSP with traffic control and security when the road had to be shut down to investigate the accident scene. VSP continues to investigate the cause of the crash.

by Ethan Rothstein — September 30, 2014 at 11:30 am 1,370 0

Car crash snares traffic on I-395 Sept. 30, 2014 Car crash snares traffic on I-395 Sept. 30, 2014

(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) A car crash closed all lanes of traffic on southbound I-395 this morning.

The accident occurred at just after 11:00 a.m. Virginia State Police closed off all lanes of the highway next to the Shirlington Circle to clear the scene for Arlington firefighters and paramedics.

Police diverted traffic onto the exit ramp, where cars are able to pass through and continue on I-395 past the crash.

Backups on SB I-395 stretched to the exit for Washington Blvd. The roadway has since reopened.

by ARLnow.com — September 30, 2014 at 12:45 am 2,558 0

Three people were hurt in a rollover accident in Bluemont Monday night.

The two-vehicle crash happened around 10:00 p.m., at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. George Mason Drive.

According to a witness, an elderly man in a Chevy Impala on Wilson Blvd ran a red light, broadsiding an SUV that was heading north on George Mason. The SUV flipped on its side and came to rest next to a street sign.

The SUV’s three occupants were able to get out of the vehicle on their own, we’re told.

Two children were taken to the hospital, according to the witness. Their injuries were reported to be minor.

The adult male driver was shaken but did not require medical treatment. He was driving the children home from a basketball practice at Kenmore Middle School, we’re told.

A passenger in the Impala was also taken to the hospital with apparently minor injuries, the witness said. The driver was evaluated by paramedics. Charges were “likely,” a police officer on the scene said.

A third vehicle was nearly involved in the accident. We’re told a convertible — whose driver was also returning from the basketball practice — was driving next to but just behind the SUV. The driver slammed on the brakes at the last second and managed to barely avoid the wreck.

by ARLnow.com — September 25, 2014 at 8:10 am 953 0

14th Street Bridge accident 9/25/14The entire stretch of northbound I-395 inside the Beltway was jammed up during this latter part of this morning’s rush hour, in part due to an accident on the 14th Street Bridge.

The left two lanes of the bridge were blocked by the accident, though as of 8:05 a.m. only one lane remained closed.

In addition to the traffic crawling on northbound I-395, heavy traffic could be seen approaching the 14th Street Bridge from the north and the south on the George Washington Parkway.

Traffic on eastbound I-66, meanwhile, was relatively clear through Arlington until the Rosslyn tunnel.

by Ethan Rothstein — September 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm 847 0

Two drivers were involved in a head-on collision this morning on S. Carlin Springs Road, closing down the northbound lanes for about an hour.

A Toyota Corolla and Ford station wagon collided when, according to the driver of the Corolla, the station wagon started to turn left into Long Branch Nature Center, crossing into her lane before she could brake. The crash occurred at about 11:00 a.m.

An ambulance arrived on the scene but both drivers refused medical attention. The Corolla driver, who declined to give her name and was visibly shaken up, suffered only a minor abrasion on her chin. Both airbags in her car deployed.

All lanes of S. Carlin Springs Road have since reopened.

by ARLnow.com — August 19, 2014 at 11:00 am 7,869 0

Roland Hitchens (photo courtesy ACPD)A drunk and naked man on a motorcycle crashed into two cars and ran into the woods in the Arlington Village area Friday night, according to a police report.

The incident happened just before 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 15. The nude biker struck two cars on the 1600 block of S. Barton Street, near Columbia Pike, before fleeing on foot into a wooded area, according to the Arlington County Police Department.

Arlington resident Roland Hitchens, 42, was located by officers a short distance from the scene — residents told ARLnow.com he was found on S. Edgewood Street — and taken into custody. He was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries before being locked up at the Arlington County jail, police said.

A car on S. Barton Street allegedly damaged by a naked motorcyclist (submitted photo)Hitchens has been charged with felony hit and run, indecent exposure, DUI, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and driving while revoked.

This is the second time this summer an alleged naked and intoxicated driver crashed a vehicle in Arlington and tried to flee. In June, a bar crawl attendee in Clarendon was accused of stripping naked and leading police on a brief car chase that ended with a wreck on Wilson Blvd.

Photo (top) courtesy ACPD. Photo (bottom) courtesy anonymous. Hat tip to Brendan L.

by Ethan Rothstein — August 2, 2014 at 7:25 pm 8,184 0

(Updated at 12:40 p.m. on 8/3/14) Six people were hospitalized after a police chase turned into a multiple-vehicle collision on I-66 Saturday afternoon.

Around 3:15 p.m., Virginia State Police say they pulled over a Dodge Charger for a routine traffic stop on eastbound I-66 in Fairfax County when it was spotted driving on the shoulder. The Charger stopped for a state trooper in Fairfax County, near exit 57 for Route 50. The responding trooper discovered the driver, 25-year-old Ericka S. Oliver, had an arrest warrant from another local jurisdiction and took her into custody. According to a VSP press release, the male passenger, 33-year-old Anthony G. McCrae of Washington, D.C., then grabbed the wheel of the car and sped off, which led to a high-speed pursuit.

McCrae reportedly exited I-66 at Route 123, turned around, then got back onto eastbound I-66. When the Charger approached traffic before the exit for N. Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive, police say it struck a Ford Expedition and spun out of control. The Charger then smashed into a Subaru Outback.

The Arlington County Fire Department responded to the crash scene, and Capt. Bill Shelton told ARLnow.com they transported six patients — including McCrae — to local hospitals. McCrae was treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The other patients also suffered non-life-threatening injuries, but Shelton said a few were in serious condition when they were transported.

McCrae was arrested and is being held without bond at the hospital on outstanding warrants from both Arlington and Prince William counties. He likely will face additional charges for Saturday’s incident when VSP completes its investigation of the pursuit and crash.

Eastbound I-66 was closed for about an hour following the wreck, and traffic started to get through around 4:30 p.m. Just after 6:00 p.m., all lanes of the highway were open to traffic.

by ARLnow.com — July 18, 2014 at 3:45 pm 5,218 0

Serious crash on the GW Parkway 7/2/14 (photo courtesy @CAPT258)Investigators are hoping to learn more about a fatal wreck on the George Washington Parkway earlier this month.

The crash happened just before 4:45 p.m. on July 2. A black BMW traveling southbound near the first overlook crossed over the center median and collided head-on with a Hyundai SUV, according to U.S. Park Police.

The driver of the SUV, identified as Michael Poling of Vienna, Va., was flown to the trauma center at Medstar, where he succumbed to his injuries. The driver of the BMW was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

So far there’s no word of charges being filed. Police are asking witnesses and those with information about the crash to come forward to assist with their investigation.

U.S. Park Police issued the following press release about the crash this afternoon.

Detectives from the United States Park Police (USPP), Criminal Investigations Branch, are investigating a three car vehicle crash which occurred N/B George Washington Memorial Parkway in the area of the 1st Overlook.

On Wednesday, July 2, 2014, at approximately 4:43 pm units from USPP District Two responded for the report of a motor vehicle crash with one victim trapped. Fireboard and EMS personnel arrived on scene and extricated the trapped operator identified as Michael Alan Poling of Vienna, Virginia from the vehicle. Mr. Poling was transported by USPP Eagle 1 to Medstar where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Preliminary investigation reveals that a black BMW traveling in the left lane S/B on the GW Parkway in the area of the 1st Overlook crossed over the grass median into oncoming traffic of the N/B GW Parkway lanes. The BMW entered the travel lane of a Hyundai SUV Mr. Poling was operating striking it head on and additionally struck a Honda traveling in the left lane of N/B GW Parkway.

The operator of the BMW was transported to GW Hospital by ambulance with non-life threatening injuries but was held for observation.

The Criminal Investigations Branch is asking for the assistance of commuters that were traveling S/B on the GW Parkway that witnessed the crash or that may have information. Anyone with information is asked to call the United States Park Police Tip Line at 202-610-8737.

Photo courtesy @CAPT258

by ARLnow.com — July 2, 2014 at 5:05 pm 11,983 0

(Updated at 11:00 a.m.) The northbound lanes of the George Washington Parkway were shut down during Wednesday’s evening rush hour due to a fatal crash.

A three vehicle accident near the second overlook left one driver entrapped in his car and gravely injured. A second driver was also injured, while the third was unhurt. There were no passengers in the vehicles, according to U.S. Park Police spokeswoman Lelani Woods.

The U.S. Park Police Eagle 1 helicopter landed just north of the accident and flew the first victim to the trauma center at Medstar, where he was later pronounced dead. The second victim was transported via ambulance to George Washington University Hospital.

Northbound and southbound GW Parkway traffic was closed following the accident and the helicopter’s landing. The Parkway remained closed until just before 10:00 p.m. while police investigated the crash, Woods said.

One driver stuck near the accident scene said via Twitter that the northbound lanes were “a parking lot.” Northbound traffic was diverted onto the Spout Run Parkway during the closures.

Photos via @CAPT258 and @IAFF2800

by ARLnow.com — July 2, 2014 at 1:10 pm 2,701 0

A car ran off the road and into the woods on westbound I-66 at the Route 110 ramp, near Rosslyn.

The wreck happened around 12:30 p.m. Rescuers responded for a report of an occupant trapped in the vehicle, but that person was apparently able to get out before firefighters arrived on scene.

Two people were reportedly transported to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

by ARLnow.com — June 4, 2014 at 11:00 am 5,785 0

Two Arlington residents and an Alexandria resident were killed in a crash in southwest Virginia Tuesday evening.

The crash happened around 6:20 p.m. in the southbound lanes of I-81 in Washington County, Va. From Virginia State Police:

A tractor-trailer traveling south on I-81 experienced a flat tire and pulled off onto the right shoulder to inspect the tire. As the tractor-trailer driver and passenger were walking back to the cab of the truck, a southbound Toyota Avalon ran off the left side of I-81. The driver of the Toyota overcorrected causing the car to slid sideways into the rear of the tractor-trailer.

The Toyota’s male driver, Abenezer D. Thewdros, 19, of Arlington, Va., and two male passengers, Abel N. Ayele, 19, of Arlington, Va., and Alemu S. Ameha, 25, of Alexandria, Va., all died at the scene. A third male passenger, Arketsadik Yilma, 19, of Alexandria, Va., was flown by Virginia State Police Med-Flight helicopter to Bristol Regional Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries.

Neither the tractor-trailer driver nor his passenger was injured.

The crash remains under investigation. Alcohol does not appear to have been a factor in the crash.

Southbound lanes were re-opened to traffic at approximately 9:30 p.m.

by ARLnow.com — May 16, 2014 at 11:45 am 5,718 0

Arlington police carThree Arlington County police cruisers were damaged this morning in a wreck on I-66.

The crash happened around 11:30 a.m. near the Lee Highway/Sycamore Street exit on eastbound I-66. Initial reports suggest the officers were returning to Arlington from a training facility when they somehow collided with one another.

No civilian vehicles were reported to be involved. No injuries were reported.

A tow truck was called to the scene for one of the cruisers, which had its airbag deploy during the wreck.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — April 29, 2014 at 10:05 am 3,931 0

An allegedly gun-toting convicted felon was arrested by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents after a brief car chase and crash in Pentagon City over the weekend.

The ATF says its agents were following D.C. resident Othaniel Gaither, a convicted felon, after he illegally bought two guns and ammunition in Northern Virginia on Sunday. When Gaither took a detour through Pentagon City en route back to D.C., the agents tried to pull him over in the area of 15th Street and S. Fern Street.

“At this point, Gaither attempted to evade arrest and rammed into one of the ATF vehicles,” ATF Washington Field Division spokesman Thomas A. Faison told ARLnow.com. “This evasion attempt proved unsuccessful.”

“[Gaither] admitted to being a convicted felon who was transporting the firearms and ammunition from Virginia to D.C.,” Faison said. “He also stated that an associate of his was shot several weeks ago in D.C. and the firearms and ammunition were for retaliation against the individuals responsible for the shooting incident.”

ATF agents recovered an AK-47 rifle, a .38 caliber machine pistol and a flare gun that was modified to fire 12-gauge shotgun shells, according to Faison. Ammunition was also found.

Gaither remains in custody on federal charges.

Photos courtesy @WestwoodKing

×

Subscribe to our mailing list