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by Ethan Rothstein — March 24, 2015 at 1:45 pm 5,943 0

Nancy Tinoza (photo via Facebook)(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) A 26-year-old Arlington woman was killed in Northeast D.C. early Sunday morning, when the driver of a car in which she was a passenger slammed into a parked tractor trailer.

Nancy Tinoza, an immigrant from Zimbabwe, was killed in the collision at about 3:12 a.m. on the 3400 block of Eastern Avenue NE, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. She was pronounced dead after being transported to the Washington Medical Center’s trauma center.

The driver of the car and another passenger were also hospitalized, and after officers interviewed the driver, Momodu Bello, they arrested him and charged him with second-degree murder.

According to the criminal complaint filed in D.C. Superior Court, Bello, a 35-year-old Fort Washington, Md. resident, was intoxicated and speeding on Eastern Avenue, which has a 25 mph speed limit. According to police, Bello said he had two beers and a shot of Hennessy at Club Mango in Bladensburg, Md., before driving, and “thought that the truck was moving.”

Bello was driving a Volkswagen Passat, which “submarined” under the truck during the collision. Tinoza suffered “massive blunt force trauma” to the head and was rendered unconscious.

“[A witness] saw the defendant had dragged [Tinoza] out of the vehicle by her arms and began shaking [her] violently when she did not respond to the defendant’s attempts to speak with her,” the complaint reads. “At one point, the defendant dropped the unconscious decedent, causing her head to strike the asphalt pavement.”

Bello was denied bond at an arraignment hearing yesterday, District of Columbia U.S. Attorney spokesman Bill Miller said in an email. His first preliminary hearing is on Friday.

Tinoza worked as a research assistant with the International Monetary Fund, according to her LinkedIn profile, and graduated from the College of Wooster in 2012 through the U.S. Student Achievers Program (USAP), which places international students in U.S. colleges. The program has set up a fundraising page to support her family in Zimbabwe — as of 1:30 p.m. the page has raised $8,483 of a $20,000 goal.

“We are saddened and devastated by this loss — she will be remembered for her kindness, energy, optimism and brilliance,” the USAP wrote on the fundraising page. “She was a role model to many, and full of promise and potential. She will be greatly missed by her family, friends, and all she has touched.”

Photo via Facebook

by ARLnow.com — January 23, 2015 at 3:45 pm 3,110 0

Police car (file photo)A Maryland man died in a single-vehicle crash in Pentagon City Thursday night.

The incident happened around 10:15 p.m. Police say 60-year-old John Dawson, of Clinton, Md., was turning left onto 15th Street S. from S. Eads Street when he struck a pole.

Dawson was transported to George Washington University hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Arlington County Police Department’s critical accident team responded to the scene. Investigators are still trying to determine if Dawson’s death was caused by the crash or was the result of a medical emergency that occurred just before the crash, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

by Ethan Rothstein — January 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm 4,096 0

The man who was rescued from this morning’s house fire near Shirlington has died from smoke inhalation, according to the Arlington County Fire Department.

The victim has not yet been identified, pending notification of his family, ACFD spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani told ARLnow.com.

The fire, on the 2100 block of S. Randolph Street, began around 4:30 a.m. and drew about 70 firefighters to the scene. It was knocked down within 30 minutes, the fire department said. Damage to the house is estimated at $90,000.

The victim was trapped on the first floor when firefighters found him, Marchegiani said. He was transported to Virginia Hospital Center, where he later succumbed to his injuries. There were smoke alarms in the house, but investigators don’t yet know if they were working.

The fire was the second in two days. Firefighters successfully rescued two people from the roof of a burning house in the Old Glebe neighborhood early Wednesday morning.

This was the first fire fatality of 2015. Four people died in house fires in 2014, Marchegiani said. In 2013, there were no deaths from fires in Arlington.

The fire department is reminding residents that it supplies free smoke detector installations. From a press release:

The Arlington County Fire Department reminds you to:

  • Install smoke alarms on every floor and in every bedroom.
  • Test your smoke alarms every month by pressing the “test” button.
  • Change the batteries in all alarms twice a year with daylight savings time, unless you alarm is equipped with a 10 year lithium battery.
  • Ensure every person in your home understands and practices your home fire escape plantwice a year. Your plan should include two ways out of every room, getting low, closing the door behind, going directly to your predetermined family meeting place, and then calling 9-1-1.

If you do not have a working smoke alarm, the fire department provides free smoke alarm installations for Arlington County residents.

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 — August 14, 2014 at 2:30 pm 2,682 0

Aman Lail (Photo courtesy Arlington County Sheriff's OfficeThe driver who killed an Alexandria man in a drunk driving accident in Rosslyn on Jan. 24 pleaded guilty to DUI aggravated involuntary manslaughter today.

Aman Singh Lail, 24, was traveling eastbound on Lee Highway when his Jeep Wrangler slammed into the car of 24-year-old Saqlain Chowdhury at 2:09 a.m. Chowdhury was transported to George Washington University Hospital, where he died.

The accident happened a block away from where Lail’s friend, Sami Ullah, died after driving 90 mph over Key Bridge 10 months earlier.

Lail pleaded guilty in Arlington Circuit Court this morning, and will face sentencing from Judge Louise DiMatteo on Nov. 14.

Lail, a Baltimore resident, had almost three dozen traffic violations on his record in Loudoun, Fairfax and Arlington counties since 2008, including a driving while intoxicated arrest in Arlington in 2009 and a DWI conviction in Fairfax County in 2012, according to prosecutors. Lail faces between one and 20 years in prison.

“On Jan. 24, 2014, Aman Lail decided to endanger the National Capital Region by driving drunk,” Deputy Police Chief Daniel Murray said in a press release. “This decision cost Saqlain Chowdhury his life. The aggressive investigation and prosecution by the Arlington County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and the Arlington County Police Department’s Critical Accident Team has resulted in today’s plea. While there is nothing that will bring Mr. Chowdhury back to his family, at least Aman Lail will not present a danger to the community as long as he remains behind bars.”

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jay Burkholder.

“The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office is pleased that the defendant entered guilty pleas today, but there are no good outcomes here,” Burkholder said. “Our thoughts continue to be with the victim’s family and friends as they struggle with this tragedy.”

Photo courtesy Arlington County Sheriff’s Office

by ARLnow.com — January 24, 2014 at 5:45 pm 10,153 0

Two wrecks, two friends, two deaths, one block apart. One friend died, and the other is now facing jail time for manslaughter.

Friday morning, police say Aman Singh Lail drove drunk and slammed into another car at the intersection of Fort Myer Drive and eastbound Lee Highway in Rosslyn, killing the 24-year-old driver. Amazingly, ten months prior, his friend Sami Ullah died when, after driving 90 miles per hour across the Key Bridge, he lost control of his 2008 BMW M5 and crashed just before the intersection of Fort Myer Drive and westbound Lee Highway.

The grim coincidence is tied together by a photo Lail posted in May on his Instagram account. “The last time I saw my brother Sami,” he wrote. Also posted on Instagram: a photo of what appears to be the tricked-out Jeep involved in the wreck.

Police have released few details about this morning’s accident, only saying that it occurred just after 2:00 a.m. when Lail’s Jeep Wrangler, which was traveling eastbound on Lee Highway, collided with Saqlain Chowhury’s Chrysler Crossfire at the Fort Myer Drive intersection. So far police are not saying how fast the vehicles were traveling, which had the green light at the intersection and whether Chowhury was wearing a seat belt.

Lail, a 24-year-old Baltimore resident, is now charged with DUI Aggravated Involuntary Manslaughter, a felony punishable by 1 to 20 years in prison. Given Lail’s prior driving record, he might see the upper end of that range.

As pointed out in the comments section of our initial article, Lail has faced nearly three dozen vehicle-related charges since 2008, and that’s just in Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties alone. Among them:

  • One for disregarding traffic lights in Fairfax County on Aug. 16, 2009
  • One for Driving While Intoxicated in Arlington on Nov. 7, 2009, which was later amended to a charge of reckless driving
  • Nine speeding violations, including one for going 97 in a 55 in Fairfax on Jan. 7, 2012
  • One DWI conviction in Fairfax County, on Feb. 5, 2012

Lail is being held without bond at the Arlington County Detention Center.

by ARLnow.com — January 24, 2014 at 8:05 am 9,284 0

Two vehicles involved in a fatal accident in Rosslyn (screenshot via NBC4)(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Arlington County police are investigating a fatal accident that occurred overnight at the intersection of Ft. Myer Drive and Lee Highway, near the Key Bridge.

Police say two vehicles, a Jeep and a sedan, were involved in a t-bone collision around 2:00 a.m. The Jeep, traveling eastbound on Lee Highway, struck the sedan and a 24-year-old man in the sedan died, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene and has since been charged with DUI and involuntary manslaughter. From an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department is currently investigating a fatal motor vehicle accident which occurred in Rosslyn at the intersection of Lee Highway and Fort Myer Drive at 2:09 AM on January 24, 2014.

A Jeep Wrangler, operated by Aman Singh Lail, 24, of Baltimore, Maryland was travelling eastbound on Lee Highway when it struck a Chrysler Crossfire being operated by Saqlain Chowdhury, 24, of Alexandria, Virginia.

Mr. Chowdhury was transported by paramedics from the Arlington County Fire Department to the George Washington University Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Mr. Lail has been charged with Driving Under the Influence – Aggravated Involuntary Manslaughter. He is being held without bond at the Arlington County Detention Center.

The eastbound lanes of Lee Highway were closed for approximately five hours, opening shortly before 7:00 AM.

Police are asking anyone with information concerning this incident to contact Detective Sara Bertollini of the Arlington County Police Department’s Critical Accident Team at (703) 228-4243.

Screenshot via NBC4

by ARLnow.com — December 4, 2013 at 1:30 pm 1,589 0

U.S. Park Police badgeA Maryland man has been arrested and charged with negligent homicide following a fatal crash on Memorial Circle.

The crash occurred in the early morning hours of Friday, Oct. 11. According to police, a vehicle was heading outbound on the Memorial Bridge when it “lost control and overturned for unknown reasons” at the circle. At the time, the deceased — 36-year-old Katharine Jane Rahim of Reston — was said to be the vehicle’s sole occupant.

However, police now say the vehicle’s driver, 24-year-old Carlos Joel Alonso, fled the scene prior to the arrival of first responders.

“United States Park Police investigated the crash which revealed negligence of the operator resulting in the fatality of passenger,” according to a Park Police news release. “Alonso… left the scene [and] was found several hours later at Columbia Island Marina.”

Alonso, a Maryland resident, was arrested yesterday (Dec. 3) on charges of negligent homicide. He surrendered his passport and was released on bond, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Dec. 13.

by ARLnow.com — October 11, 2013 at 8:10 am 3,459 0

(Updated on 12/4/13) A woman died early this morning in a single-vehicle accident on Memorial Circle.

The fatal crash happened at about 1:20 a.m. A vehicle was heading outbound on the Memorial Bridge when it “lost control and overturned for unknown reasons” at Memorial Circle, according to U.S. Park Police. The deceased was identified by police as 36-year-old Katharine Jane Rahim of Reston.

“One vehicle was involved and the sole occupant, an adult female died at the scene,” police said. The bridge and the circle were closed for several hours this morning for an accident investigation.

by ARLnow.com — July 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm 1,725 0

Farhan Khan (photo courtesy ACPD)A 21-year-old Alexandria man is expected to enter a plea in the case of a fatal Christmas Eve pedestrian accident in Ballston.

An attorney for Farhan Khan told an Arlington Circuit Court judge yesterday that Khan intends to enter a plea. He’s currently charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 30-year-old Shabnam Motahhar-Tehrani of Nokesville, Va.

Khan is accused of running a red light and causing the collision that killed Motahhar-Tehrani, who was standing on a sidewalk on the afternoon of Dec. 24, 2012. The involuntary manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The plea is expected to be entered during a court hearing on Monday, Sept. 30.

by ARLnow.com — March 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm 2,822 0

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

by ARLnow.com — March 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm 899 111 Comments

Fatal accident near the Key Bridge, via @jamesp326(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) A young man is dead and two others are critically injured after an early morning wreck just past the Key Bridge in Rosslyn.

The incident happened around 5:00 a.m. Police say a 21-year-old man from Leesburg was driving a white 2008 BMW M5 at approximately 90 miles per hour over the Key Bridge when the car hit the curb of a traffic island on the Rosslyn side of the bridge, flipped 5 times and ended up in the bushes of the Key Bridge Marriott. The force of the accident sheared the sports car’s roof off, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

There were two passengers, ages 21 and 22 and both from Leesburg, in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

sami-ullah-instagramThe driver was pronounced dead at the scene, one passenger was ejected and found unconscious a short distance from the vehicle, and the other was pulled from the wreck by VDOT workers who witnessed the accident, Sternbeck said. Both passengers were transported to a local hospital with what were described as critical injuries. They remain in serious condition. One passenger is in a medically-induced coma with three broken vertebrae, a broken left scapula, pulmonary contusions, and hemotoma around the heart, according to police.

The driver has been identified by police as 21-year-old Sami Ullah of Leesburg. Yesterday, less than 24 hours before the accident, Ullah posted a photo of his car on Instagram with the caption “I call her Snow White. #m5 #beast #snowWhite #conlosterroristas #570 #ponies #vroomVroom.”

Photo (top) via @jamesp326. Photos (bottom) courtesy Rob Laybourn. Hat tip to @CAPT258.

Aftermath of fatal car accident near the Key Bridge (photo courtesy Rob Laybourn) Aftermath of fatal car accident near the Key Bridge (photo courtesy Rob Laybourn)

by Katie Pyzyk — October 30, 2012 at 10:35 am 9,285 56 Comments

An elderly man is dead after becoming trapped during a fire in his apartment in the 2900 block of S. Buchanan Street in Fairlington.

According to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl, smoke was coming from the top level apartment when crews arrived on the scene. Capt. Karl said because the investigation has just begun, it’s unclear exactly what started the fire and whether the man died from burns or smoke inhalation.

According to a law enforcement source, the fire is not considered suspicious. The victim was reportedly a hoarder and clutter prevented him from escaping from his apartment when the fire broke out. We’re told he was the only person in the apartment at the time and was found dead on the scene when rescue crews arrived. Nobody in any neighboring units was hurt.

About 10 residents have been displaced from their apartments while the investigation is underway, according to Capt. Karl. They are being allowed to seek shelter at the Fairlington Community Center until they receive word about being able to head back to their apartments.

Courtesy photo (top)

 

by ARLnow.com — December 13, 2011 at 8:30 am 2,404 45 Comments

Rehabbed Bridge to Be More Ped-Friendly — Arlington County is preparing to rehabilitate the Carlin Springs Road bridge over George Mason Drive, and the bridge’s chosen design will make it much more pedestrian-friendly. Currently, the bridge only has a pair of 5 foot sidewalks. The new bridge will have 8 foot sidewalks and 5 foot bike lanes on either side, but with narrower lanes for cars and no center divider. [Greater Greater Washington]

Arlington HQ’d Firm Gets New Name — The security contractor formerly known as Blackwater — now headquartered in Arlington — has a new name. The company’s name was changed to ‘Xe’ about three years ago, amid controversy over Blackwater’s role in civilian deaths in Iraq. On Monday the name was changed again, to ‘Academi.’ [Washington Post]

Wakefield Grad Dies in Crash — Casey Noriega, a 2000 graduate of Wakefield High School, was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Saturday in Fairfax County. Noriega, 29, was the mother of a 7-year-old son. [Kingstowne Patch]

Flickr pool photo by wfyurasko

by ARLnow.com — September 20, 2011 at 3:58 pm 3,746 8 Comments

Arlington County Police think that a delivery truck may have been the vehicle that struck and killed 23-year-old Zorigoo Munkhbayar on Friday.

Munkhbayar was walking on Route 50 early Friday morning when he was struck by a vehicle near the N. Rhodes Street ramp. By the time someone saw Munkhbayar’s body laying in the roadway and called police, the Arlington resident was already dead.

Today police revealed that they believe a 2005-2007 Mitsubishi delivery truck was the striking vehicle. Police say the truck “would have noticeable damage to the front passenger side and passenger side grill/headlight.”

Investigators are asking for the public’s help in solving the crime.

“Police ask that anyone who may have seen a man walking on eastbound Route 50, or witnessed the accident, contact Detective Paul Marseilles at (703) 228-4237,” police said in a statement. “Detective Marseilles can also be reached via e-mail at pmarseilles@arlingtonva.us.”

The above photo, provided by the Arlington County Police Department, shows a truck similar to the model suspected of hitting Munkhbayar. See more photos here.

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