(Updated at 9:20 a.m.) A car flipped on its roof near Shirlington on Sunday after colliding with a parked police car.
The incident happened on the 2800 block of S. Wakefield Street Sunday afternoon. According to police, an Acura TL heading eastbound on Wakefield Street struck two parked vehicles — a Ford Mustang and an Arlington police cruiser — before flipping over. It damaged a third vehicle after overturning.
The police car “sustained major damage” to its rear axle, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The driver, identified as a 26-year-old Arlington man, was charged with reckless driving, driving with a revoked license and DUI. No injuries were reported.
Commuters are experiencing major backups on the GW Parkway due to a serious accident in Fairfax County.
The crash occurred on the GW Parkway near Route 123. According to an Arlington Alert email, traffic was shut down in both directions to allow a Medevac helicopter to land.
Backups on the northbound lanes of the Parkway reportedly extend down to the Memorial Bridge
BMW in Fatal Crash Was Symbol of Father’s Success — The 2008 BMW M5 that 22-year-old Sami Ullah was driving the night of the crash in Rosslyn that killed him was a gift from his father, who had emigrated from Pakistan and worked as a dishwasher before eventually amassing a fortune from real estate investment. Police said Ullah was driving 90 miles per hour over the Key Bridge before the crash, something his family can’t quite comprehend. “He’d only drive fast on straightaways,” Ullah’s 27-year-old brother said. [Washington Post]
Board Reaffirms Plan for Long Bridge Park — The Arlington County Board reaffirmed its plan for Long Bridge Park, near Crystal City, at its meeting on Saturday. The plan includes the new Long Bridge Park Aquatics, Health & Fitness Facility, the construction of which is expected to begin late this year. “Our actions today move us closer to realizing the dream of transforming a former brown field into one of the region’s most dynamic parks, recreation and athletic facilities in one of its most beautiful natural settings,” said County Board Chairman Walter Tejada. [Arlington County]
Win for Wakefield ‘It’s Academic’ Team – Wakefield High School’s “It’s Academic” team picked up and will advance to a playoff match. The televised academic competition aired this past Saturday, March 16. [Sun Gazette]
Front Page Under New Management – The Front Page restaurant in Ballston is under new management. “We have been working hard to get the FPA back to the glory it’s longstanding tradition deserves,” the restaurant said on Facebook. “Please don’t judge us on past performance. Except for the loyal and exceptional bar and service staff all management is new.” [Facebook]
County: We’re Not Stopping Harris Teeter — Arlington County officials acknowledged on Saturday that they’ve been in private settlement talks with Harris Teeter over the incident that resulted in raw sewage flooding the S. Glebe Road store last year, forcing it to close indefinitely. Responding to a letters from residents, the county says they’re not preventing the still-closed store from reopening and are willing to help expedite the regulatory process, if Harris Teeter decides to reopen. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by J.D. Moore
A makeshift memorial was set up this week at the site of a fatal crash in Rosslyn.
Sami Ullah, a 21-year-old Leesburg resident, died Sunday when the BMW M5 he was driving hit a curb and flipped several times after speeding across the Key Bridge at up to 90 miles per hour. The car came to rest on its roof, in the bushes in front of the Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn.
Two passengers, ages 21 and 22 and both also from Leesburg, were seriously injured in the wreck.
A memorial was set up at the site, featuring dozens of flowers and a poster showing photos of Ullah with friends and family.
“Rest in paradise,” the poster said. Remnants from the crash and the emergency response — including muddy tire tracks, broken glass, a paramedic’s latex glove and the destroyed section of bushes — could still be seen at the site.
Ullah was preparing to graduate from Virginia Tech and pursue a Master’s degree in business, WJLA reported.
Arlington County police are still investigating the circumstances leading to the crash.
Hat tip to Ian Luria
Last night, around 10:00 p.m., an SUV somehow crashed through a barrier on the south side of the Memorial Bridge and landed in the Potomac River.
The driver, the SUV’s lone occupant, escaped the watery wreck and was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Charges are now pending against the driver, according to U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Brooks.
If you’ve ever feared making a wrong turn and driving off the side of a bridge, AAA Mid-Atlantic has some potentially helpful tips for you. From a press release:
Although they are considered worst-case scenarios, such crashes rarely happen, safety officials and experts say. But that’s of little consolation to local drivers when their vehicle suddenly goes deep six or becomes a leaking boat. What you do and how you react within moments of the crash into the abyss will determine whether you live or die in a watery grave, the auto club advises. “Add darkness and near freezing water, and your chances of escape have greatly diminished,” safety experts warns.
“Although less than one-half of one percent of all automobile crashes involves a vehicle being submerged under water, it is still a very frightening situation to motorists and their terrified passengers, especially young children and the elderly,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “Previous research shows that between 400 to 600 persons lose their lives each year in the United States, as their vehicles plummet into a canal, river, or a ditch for that matter.”
Annually, almost ten percent of all drowning deaths in the United States can be attributed to being submerged in a car. If children are in the car, the driver or the adult should focus on getting the children out safely first and keeping them from panicking during the petrifying ordeal. In most crashes of this nature, the heaviest end of the deep-sixed vehicle – usually the end with the engine – will begin sinking first, pulling the car down at an angle, notes Popular Mechanic. That is, unless the water is 15 feet or deeper. In that case, the vehicle may land on its roof, compounding the dangers and risks for the occupants.
Although most vehicles will float for three or four minutes before they start sinking due to the surprising buoyancy of the vehicle in deep water and depending upon on the airtightness of the vehicles, time is still of the essence, advises AAA Mid-Atlantic. The overarching concern is getting to dry land as quickly as possible. Your safety and the lives of your passengers depend upon that.
So, the first key to surviving such a mishap is remaining calm, according to safety experts. Underscoring this, the National Safety Commission puts it this way: “The first and most important thing to remember, if your vehicle is submerged, is to remain CALM – easier said than done-but it’s the most important thing you can do to stay alive.” However, the experts tend to vary on their tips. For example, the brothers Magliozzi, Tom and Ray, of NPR’s “Car Talk” say: “The correct way to get out of a sinking car is to float in the cabin until water is within about 2 inches of the roof. At that time pressure in and outside the car will be equal and it will be easy to open the door and swim out.”
- Don’t panic. Once your car hits the water it will not sink immediately (You will have at least one or two minutes before the car begins to sink, safety experts say).
- If possible, jump out while car is on surface.
- If your car is still floating, roll down the window and unbuckle your seat belt to escape.
- If your car is submerged, safety experts suggest remaining buckled up while you break the driver or passenger’s side window to escape.
- Allow the pressure of the water to equalize inside the sodden vehicle before attempting to open the doors or windows. Water weighs 62.4 lbs. per cubic foot.
- Move toward rear of vehicle where the air bubble is forming.
- Water pressure against the water-logged doors will make opening the doors very difficult until the pressure inside of the vehicle and outside of the vehicle are equal.
- Open your windows to allow yourself and your passengers to escape (Contrary to popular opinion, the “power windows won’t stop working within seconds after impact.” The power can stay on as along as 10 minutes).
The nightmarish crash from the Memorial Bridge is a reminder to motorists of the importance of carrying and keeping a sharp tool, such as a Philips screwdriver or a spring-loaded center punch, in their glove compartment or in the cabin of their vehicle. The tool is a life-saver. Here’s why: it allows you to break the tempered glass to extricate yourself and your passengers from the sinking vehicle. Other salient tips include:
- If the windows are blocked, try to push the windshield or rear window out with your feet or shoulder.
- Rescue the children or passengers who need assistance to help them to escape. If children are in the sinking or submerged car, unbuckle their seatbelts and or child passenger seat, starting with the oldest child first.
- Safeguard the kids. Push the children out of the vehicle ahead of you.
- Always keep a window-breaking tool in your vehicle in an easily accessible location, safety experts suggest.
- Remove heavy clothing before attempting to swim to safety.
- Swim to the surface as safely and quickly as possible (swim in the direction of the current if you’re in deep water).
- Push off for quick rise to the surface.
- If you can’t swim try to float. Use your body’s natural buoyancy to float. Make sure to raise your head to breathe.
- Call for medical attention as quickly as possible.
Ironically, just last week crews from the Federal Highway Administration reportedly began an “extensive inspection of the deck of the iconic 80-year-old Arlington Memorial Bridge, a process that is expected to continue through March 5. In September the 2,163 feet long bridge underwent a two month long renovation, costing $788,375, to repair and replace its entire driving surface.
Photos courtesy Mark P.
SUV Runs Off Memorial Bridge – An SUV drove off the Memorial Bridge and plunged into the Potomac around 10:00 last night. The driver was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to police. A bridge barrier was damaged and the bridge was closed by police until the early morning hours. [WJLA, Washington Post]
‘Ballston Southern Gateway’ Plan Approved – The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved an addendum to its North Quincy Street Plan, which is designed “to transform the southern gateway of Ballston from an automobile-oriented area into a more pedestrian-friendly, great urban place.” The plan calls for higher residential and commercial buildings in the area around the Harris Teeters and the Mercedes Benz dealership. [Arlington County]
Supreme Court to Consider DNA Practice that Helped ACPD – The U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider the constitutionality of a DNA practice that helped Arlington County Police link former Marine Jorge Torrez, accused of raping an Arlington woman and leaving her for dead, with the murder of two girls in Illinois. The high court will consider whether taking a DNA sample from someone arrested for a serious crime — before they’re convicted — is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy. [Los Angeles Times]
Board: We Can’t Sway Cemetery Expansion – Responding to the concerns of tree lovers over the weekend, members of the Arlington County Board said they have little power to sway the Army’s decision to expand Arlington National Cemetery. As originally planned, the expansion would cut down nearly 900 trees from an old growth forest on the cemetery grounds. The Army Corps of Engineers is currently re-evaluating its plan after complaints from tree advocates. [Sun Gazette]
Transpo Plan a ‘Big Win’ for McDonnell – Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) scored a big win with the passage of a compromise version of his transportation funding plan, according to Politico. But anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist decried the various tax increases in the bill, which could cost the average Virginia family between $10 and $15 per month. “The Democrats in the legislature mugged him good,” Norquist said of McDonnell. [Politico, Washington Post]
Photos: Demolition of Old Arlington Courthouse – On its blog, the library looks back at the demolition of the old Arlington County Courthouse building on Feb. 23, 1997. [Arlington Public Library]
Photo courtesy @mowdymichelle
(Updated at 11:10 a.m.) A man was arrested early this morning after allegedly fleeing from police and crashing his car next to the Arlington National Cemetery Metro entrance.
Around 12:20 a.m., a car took off when an Arlington County police officer attempted a traffic stop on Route 110, near the Pentagon. Following protocol, the officer did not attempt to chase the car. A short time later, however, another officer reported via radio that a car had run off Memorial Drive and crashed through some bushes next to the Arlington National Cemetery Metro station. The car, a Saturn sedan, was later confirmed to be the same one that did not stop for the first officer.
The alleged driver of the car was found about an hour later during a search of the surrounding area, parts of which are heavily wooded. The search involved police dogs, and the U.S. Park Police Eagle helicopter. In addition to Arlington County and U.S. Park police, Metro Transit police assisted at the scene.
A row of bushes between the escalators and elevator to the Metro station suffered noticeable damage as a result of the wreck. The car came to rest about 10 yards away from fencing around the station. We’re told it would have been visible from the station platforms.
It’s unclear whether there were any passengers in the car, but as of 2:30 a.m. no other arrests had been made.
The driver is being held on a $6,000 bond, and was charged with misdemeanor hit and run, felony eluding and driving while revoked, according to police.
The accident happened near Lorcom Lane, possibly at the turn-around between Lorcom Lane and the GW Parkway.
Two vehicles were reportedly involved in the wreck and one vehicle flipped on its roof. An individual was stuck in the overturned vehicle but seemed to to be okay, according to scanner traffic.
Drivers should expect significant traffic impacts in the area. It’s currently unclear whether the Parkway is blocked or if there are only lane closures in place.
Photo courtesy @StormPins
Chamber Wants State Control of Energy Plan — One of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s legislative goals this year is to have the state take control of energy efficiency and green building standards. The Chamber’s call for statewide objectives and policies comes as Arlington is in the latter stages of developing its own Community Energy Plan. “The Chamber does not support the delegation of authority to localities to establish green-building codes and requirements on a locality-by-locality basis,” the group wrote. [Sun Gazette]
VSP Responds to Crashes During Storm — Yesterday’s snow, ice and rain storm resulted in dozens of crashes on Northern Virginia highways. Virginia State Police’s Fairfax division (which includes Arlington) responded to 69 crashes, 46 disabled vehicles and a total of 328 calls for service yesterday, according to VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller. Statewide, VSP responded to 686 crashes, including one fatal wreck in Campbell County, near Lynchburg.
Population Decline Coming? — Updated at 12:55 p.m. — A projection by researchers at the University of Virginia suggests that Arlington’s population will, against all conventional wisdom, actually decline in coming years. In the 2010 census Arlington had a population of 207,627; by 2040, the projection suggest the population will shrink to 197,065. The researchers cautioned against putting too much faith in the Arlington numbers. As a whole, Virginia is projected to grow, with some 2 million additional residents statewide by 2040. Arlington’s planning division projects a population of 252,400 in 2040. [Sun Gazette]
A D.C. taxicab somehow went up a steep embankment, ran into and partially went over a guardrail on Washington Boulevard this afternoon.
The accident happened around 1:00 p.m. on the section of Washington Boulevard between I-395 and Columbia Pike. Initial reports suggest the taxi was heading northbound from I-395 to Washington Boulevard when it ran up an embankment and into the guardrail along the southbound lanes of Washington Boulevard.
It’s unclear how the accident happened, although initial reports suggest another vehicle might have been involved in the accident; that vehicle suffered only minor damage.
The driver of the Ford Crown Victoria cab was extricated by firefighters and taken to a local hospital, according to scanner traffic. Traffic on Washington Boulevard was backed up as crews worked to remove the cab from the guardrail.
(Updated at 2:05 p.m.) An SUV overturned on eastbound I-66 between Glebe Road and Quincy Street this afternoon.
The accident happened just after 1:00 p.m. Initial reports suggest the driver of the overturned vehicle got spooked by a merging vehicle and swerved into the median. The SUV then flipped on its side.
A second vehicle that was reported to have been involved in the wreck didn’t stay on scene, but stopped further down I-66, according to scanner traffic.
Only one lane of EB I-66 is getting by the wreck at this time. No word yet on any injuries, but an ambulance was called to the scene.
(Updated at 6:20 p.m.) An out-of-control SUV struck the front of Bangkok 54 restaurant (2919 Columbia Pike) this afternoon.
The crash happened around 3:45 p.m. Damage to the building appeared to be relatively minor and confined to the front facade of the eatery. The vehicle also nicked a street tree before coming to rest between Bangkok 54 and Maruko Japanese Restaurant. A box of beer could be seen in the back of the SUV.
The driver tried to run once police arrived on scene, we’re told. He hopped a fence behind the nearby McDonald’s restaurant but was tased by police and apprehended a block or two away.
The man, who was the only occupant of the vehicle, was evaluated for minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital, where he will undergo drug and alcohol testing, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. No other injuries were reported.
Police are investigating whether the vehicle might have been stolen or used without authorization.
The incident started around noon when an officer in a marked ACPD cruiser stopped to assist Virginia State Police who had stopped a pedestrian on I-66 in Prince William County. A struggle ensued, the suspect struck the Arlington officer in the face and then hopped into the officer’s cruiser and sped off
Virginia State Police, Prince William County and Fairfax County police pursued the stolen cruiser, until the chase ended on I-66 at Cub Run, near the Prince William County/Fairfax County border.
The Arlington County officer whose cruiser was stolen received medical treatment for non-life threatening injuries..
From the Virginia State Police press release on the incident:
At 11:58 a.m., Virginia State Police Trooper C.T. Grzelak responded to a male pedestrian on Interstate 66 in the eastbound lanes at the 46 mile marker in Prince William County. As the trooper stopped out with the man, an Arlington County Police Officer pulled up to assist. Upon being approached by law enforcement, the male subject became combative and began banging on the trooper’s patrol car. As the trooper and officer tried to take the subject into custody, the pedestrian struck the Arlington officer in the face and then fled the scene in the officer’s patrol car.
The trooper then pursued the fleeing suspect. The pursuit continued off I-66 and onto Route 29 before returning to I-66 headed westbound. At the 47 mile marker in Fairfax County, State Police and Prince William County Police were able to encircle and contain the suspect vehicle and force it onto the shoulder where it finally came to a stop.
The suspect then ran from the stolen vehicle and jumped into the bed of a pickup truck that was stopped in the westbound lanes of I-66 (westbound traffic had stopped as the pursuit was brought to a conclusion). The male subject grabbed a shovel and started swinging it at the troopers as they approached him. He finally complied with the troopers’ verbal commands to drop the shovel, but then jumped out of the back of the pickup truck and climbed over the cement Jersey wall.
In the left shoulder of the eastbound lanes of I-66, the male subject still refused to be taken into custody and fought the trooper and sergeant during the course of the apprehension. Both the trooper and sergeant suffered minor injuries.
The male suspect was transported by Prince William County Police to the Prince William County Adult Detention Center. Charges are pending at this time.
The Arlington County Police Officer was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
The incident happened just before 5:45 p.m., when police received a call for a truck that had crashed into a fence and a utility pole on the 1500 block of N. Lincon Street. The crash happened in front of Hayes Park and across from Arlington Science Focus school, in the Virginia Square neighborhood. The driver of the truck ran off after the accident, police were told.
After a short investigation officers determined that the truck’s owner had parked it with the keys still inside, and had just noticed that it was missing, according to police radio traffic. Police dogs were called in to try to track the suspect, but as of this morning there was no report of an arrest in the case.
Police originally received a call around 2:00 a.m. for a fight in progress in the 2000 block of N. Kenmore Street, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The victim, a homeless man who had been living in his car in the neighborhood for the past five years, said an adult Asian male had jumped on his car and started attacking him. During the struggle, the suspect — who was drunk — was able to get into the driver’s seat of the car and hit the victim with the vehicle, according to Sternbeck. The suspect then started to drive off but wrecked the car 100 feet away. Undeterred, the suspect ran back at the victim to continue assaulting him.
At that point, Sternbeck said, the victim pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed his attacker in the chest. The suspect ran off and, after arriving at the scene of the fight, police called in a helicopter to search for him. The suspect was not initially located by police but, later, a woman called police to report her boyfriend missing. The boyfriend matched the description of the suspect, and police were then able to locate the suspect in his residence, suffering from a serious chest wound, according to Sternbeck.
The suspect, identified by police as 24-year-old Andrew Lee of North Carolina, was taken to a local hospital for treatment. After an investigation, Lee was charged Monday with attempted malicious wounding and unauthorized use of a vehicle. He’s currently being held without bond at the Arlington County jail. The motive for the attack is unknown at this time, Sternbeck said.
The victim did not require transport to the hospital, according to Sternbeck.