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Police Seek Witnesses to Fatal GW Parkway Crash

by ARLnow.com | July 18, 2014 at 3:45 pm | 5,081 views | No Comments

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

UPDATED: GW Parkway Shut Down Due to Fatal Wreck

by ARLnow.com | July 2, 2014 at 5:05 pm | 11,983 views | No Comments

(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

NPS to Install Flashing Lights at GW Parkway Trail Crossing

by ARLnow.com | November 15, 2013 at 11:35 am | 1,470 views | No Comments

Three-car accident on the GW Parkway (screen capture via Facebook)The National Park Service is planning to install a “flashing beacon warning system” at a trail crossing on the GW Parkway next week.

The flashing lights will be installed at the crosswalk on the northbound GW Parkway, just prior to Memorial Circle.

“The purpose is to improve safety and increase awareness by slowing down traffic when pedestrians and bicyclists intend to cross the Parkway,” the Park Service said in a press release, adding: “Trail users need to be aware that the flashing beacon is a warning, not a stop sign.”

The lights will be temporary — in place for about a month. Park officials will consider the effectiveness of the installation during an upcoming evaluation of long-term safety and traffic improvements on the parkway.

The Park Service made a series of pedestrian and traffic safety improvements on the GW Parkway last year. That followed a number of pedestrian accidents and near-misses.

The installation of the flashing beacon is expected to take place at some point next week.

File photo

BREAKING: Fire Dept. Truck Rear-Ended After Ferrari Crash, Fire on GW Parkway

by ARLnow.com | November 1, 2013 at 11:20 am | 6,375 views | No Comments

(Updated at 11:40 a.m.) A Ferrari crashed and caught fire on the GW Parkway this morning, prompting an emergency response that then led to an accident involving a fire department vehicle.

The first wreck happened around 9:30 a.m., in the southbound lanes of the GW Parkway under I-66, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani.

The Ferrari lost control on the rain-slicked road and struck the bridge, coming to rest on the side of the parkway. The Ferrari then caught fire, quickly becoming fully engulfed before the flames were extinguished by firefighters. The driver was uninjured, according to Marchegiani.

Just past 10:30 a.m., a pickup truck rear-ended an Arlington County Fire Marshal’s truck that was stopped in the northbound lanes of the GW Parkway, adjacent to the first wreck. A third vehicle was also hit but no injuries were reported, Marchegiani said.

The dual wrecks shut down lanes and caused major backups for GW Parkway commuters. Two trucks are currently on scene to haul away the vehicles involved.

Video (above) courtesy David Johnson. Photos (below) courtesy @Chief288.

Woman Rescued After Fall Near GW Parkway

by ARLnow.com | August 12, 2013 at 9:30 am | 2,611 views | No Comments

Second overlook on the GW Parkway (photo via Google Maps)Arlington County firefighters helped to rescue a woman who fell 20 feet near the second overlook on the GW Parkway.

The incident happened around 3:00 on Sunday afternoon. It’s unclear where exactly the woman fell, though there is a trail near the overlook.

The woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries from the fall, according to ACFD spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani, but the terrain made it difficult to get her to an ambulance. Instead, a technical rescue team was called to the scene and managed to lower her to a waiting D.C. fire boat.

The woman was transported to George Washington University Hospital. No additional information was available about the incident.

Photo via Google Maps

Car Overturns on GW Parkway, Temporarily Blocking Traffic

by Ethan Rothstein | July 31, 2013 at 5:15 pm | 1,663 views | No Comments

Overturned car on GW Parkway (courtesy of MWAA)A car overturned Wednesday afternoon on the GW Parkway, temporary shutting down the northbound lanes near Reagan National Airport.

The car flipped around 3:00 p.m. as a result of an accident with at least one other vehicle. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police re-opened the parkway to traffic at 4:20 p.m.

The car is the second to overturn in Arlington Wednesday, following an SUV that flipped after a collision in Cherrydale Wednesday morning.

Photo via MWAA

NPS: D.C. Gun Laws Apply on Columbia Island

by ARLnow.com | June 7, 2013 at 11:15 am | 1,678 views | No Comments

U.S. Park Police-provided map of Columbia Island(Updated at 11:35 a.m.) Last week, a pro-gun activist cancelled his planned open carry march from Arlington National Cemetery to the District of Columbia. The planned protest has prompted U.S. Park Police to remind the public that D.C. gun laws apply to certain portions of parkland adjacent the the Potomac River.

March organizer Adam Kokesh encouraged supporters to join him on July 4 in publicly carrying loaded rifles during the march, which he dubbed a “non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent.” It was scheduled to begin at Arlington National Cemetery, and then continue over the Memorial Bridge into various parts of the District before returning to Arlington.

As widely reported, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier promised to enforce the District’s strict stringent laws, which ban the carrying of loaded weapons. Lanier suggested police might even meet the marchers at the District line. Last week organizers cancelled the march.

Yesterday, U.S. Park Police sent out a reminder that certain parcels of land along the George Washington Memorial Parkway that appear to be in Virginia — such as Theodore Roosevelt Island and Columbia Island, which includes LBJ Memorial Grove, Lady Bird Johnson Park and the Columbia Island marina — are actually in the District. Therefore, D.C. gun laws apply there.

As seen on the USPP-provided map (above), Columbia Island extends from just below the Roosevelt Bridge to the Humpback Bridge. From the press release:

The proposed “Open Carry March on Washington” that was being organized by Adam Kokesh to occur on July 4, 2013, has been cancelled by him.

The United States Park Police… want[s] to make sure the public is aware that portions of the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) is located in the District of Columbia, and that their firearm laws applies there.

Theodore Roosevelt and Columbia Islands are located in the District of Columbia. While most of the GWMP is located in Virginia, both the Theodore Roosevelt Island and Columbia Island is actually located in the District of Columbia. A good rule of thumb for Columbia Island, which includes the LBJ Memorial Grove, Lady Bird Johnson Park and Columbia Island marina, is that it surrounded by the Potomac River to the east and Boundary Channel to the west. The following are various access points that lead to Theodore Roosevelt and Columbia Islands in the District of Columbia:

  • The foot bridge leading on to Theodore Roosevelt Island from the parking lot off of the GWMP southbound.
  • Northbound GWMP and the Mt. Vernon Trail in the area of Humpback Bridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island.
  • Ramp to Rt. 50 from northbound GWMP to Columbia Island.
  • Memorial Avenue to Columbia Island.
  • Southbound GWMP south of Theodore Roosevelt Island to Humpback Bridge.
  • Boundary Channel Dr. @ Rt. 27 to Columbia Island.
  • LBJ Memorial Grove footbridge (leading from the Pentagon parking lot) to Columbia Island.

District of Columbia firearms laws apply on Theodore Roosevelt and Columbia Islands. Before entering Theodore Roosevelt and Columbia Islands, people need to know that they are located in the District of Columbia. This is important because since February 22, 2010, 16 USC 1a-7b generally provides that people can legally possess firearms if they are in compliance with the law of the State in which the park area is located.

It remains the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws. For example, D.C. Code 22-4504(a-1) provides that “[e]xcept as otherwise permitted by law, no person shall carry within the District of Columbia a rifle or shotgun.” While there are a number of public sources to locate the firearms laws, the GWMP’s website at www.nps.gov/gwmp/parkmgmt/firearms.htm has hyperlinks to the firearm laws of Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Parkland located in Arlington, meanwhile, is subject to the following Virginia gun laws.

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Snowy Conditions Lead to Accidents

by ARLnow.com | March 25, 2013 at 8:10 am | 899 views | 25 Comments

Snow accumulation in a Courthouse parking lot

(Updated at 9:20 a.m.) Arlington commuters woke up to something of a surprise this morning: accumulated snowfall.

Arlington County says local roads are “slushy,” and its snow removal crews are in the “Phase 2” of snow removal — working to treat heavily-travelled roads.

“Commuters will encounter slushy conditions on area roads,” the county said in an Arlington Alert. “Use caution when approaching intersections and on/off ramps.”

Arlington Public Schools are not impacted by the snowfall; students are currently on spring break. But snow-covered roads perhaps played a factor led in a number of accidents in and around Arlington this morning.

Accidents have been reported on the northbound GW Parkway near Spout Run and Route 123. The second accident involved an overturned car and northbound traffic is reportedly blocked.

Meanwhile, a rollover accident happened earlier at Reagan National Airport.

A vehicle flipped over on the departures roadway, beyond Terminals B and C on the “return to the airport” ramp.

“[The] driver of the vehicle was transported to a local hospital,” said airport spokesman Robert Yingling. “No other occupants [and] no other vehicles [were] involved.”

The vehicle has since been removed and the road reopened.

Major Backups on GW Parkway

by ARLnow.com | March 19, 2013 at 5:20 pm | 2,734 views | 6 Comments

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

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | February 1, 2013 at 9:10 am | 2,592 views | 170 Comments

A dusting of snow covers a car in Pentagon City

Accident Shuts Down GW Parkway — The northbound GW Parkway was closed this morning before Route 123 due to a reported multi-vehicle accident. Northbound traffic was being diverted onto Spout Run Parkway. [WTOP Traffic]

The Origins of Broyhill Forest — In 1952, homes in Broyhill Forest, a planned community adjacent to the Washington Golf and Country Club, went on sale for $19,000 to $27,000. Falls Church News-Press columnist Charlie Clark, a resident of Broyhill Forest, recalls the Broyhill family and their impact on Arlington. [Falls Church News-Press]

Pistol Certification Class at Arlington Church — A local firearms instruction company is offering  NRA First Steps Pistol Orientation courses at Bloss Memorial Church in Lyon Park. The course completion certificate can be used to obtain concealed carry permit in Virginia. While classroom instruction is conducted at the church, live fire portions of the class are conducted at the NRA headquarters range in Fairfax. [Liberty Firearms Instruction]

Energy Journey Game on Saturday — Arlington County is organizing an “interactive life-size board game” that offers residents a chance to “challenge yourself on everyday actions that have an energy impact.” The “Energy Journey Game” starts at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 2). [Fresh AIRE]

‘Georgetown Cuddler’ Conviction Overturned — An appeals court has overturned the conviction of Arlington resident Todd M. Thomas, 26, the accused “Georgetown Cuddler.” [Washington Post]

Overturned Vehicle on Spout Run Parkway

by ARLnow.com | January 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm | 1,284 views | 18 Comments

gw-pkwy-wreck-stormpins(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) A crash involving an overturned vehicle on the Spout Run Parkway is causing rush hour traffic impacts.

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

Morning Traffic Trouble in Rosslyn

by ARLnow.com | October 15, 2012 at 8:40 am | 3,092 views | 42 Comments

It wasn’t a great morning to drive or bike on N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn.

A cyclist was struck by a vehicle at the dangerous intersection of Lynn Street and Lee Highway around 8:15 this morning. The cyclist was treated for a reported knee injury and transported to the hospital.

Although emergency activity from the accident blocked a right-hand lane of Lynn Street, the bigger traffic problem was the ramp to the northbound GW Parkway. According to scanner traffic, ongoing rock stabilization work on the parkway — which has blocked a left-hand lane — is causing traffic on the parkway to slow and, in turn, is causing major delays for traffic merging on to the parkway from Rosslyn.

As of 8:30 a.m., cars heading to the parkway were backed up all the way to Wilson Blvd on Lynn Street.

Partial Closure of Northbound GW Parkway This Weekend

by ARLnow.com | October 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm | 4,495 views | 33 Comments

(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) A large stretch of the northbound George Washington Parkway will be shut down this weekend due to rock stabilization work.

All northbound lanes of the parkway will be closed from Spout Run to Chain Bridge. The closure is scheduled to be in place from 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5, to 5:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 8, according to the National Park Service.

“Detours will be posted, variable message boards have been placed, but alternate routes are strongly advised,” NPS said.

One possible way around the closure for GW Parkway drivers is to take the northbound Spout Run Parkway to Lee Highway, Lee Highway north to Military Road, Military Road north to Glebe Road, Glebe Road northeast to Chain Bridge Road, and Chain Bridge Road north to back to the GW Parkway. Another alternative route, for drivers heading to the Beltway, is to take Spout Run to Lee Highway to westbound I-66.

The rock stabilization project is being performed through Dec. 19 by the Federal Highway Administration. The goal is to stabilize the “rock slopes” of two sites near Spout Run that experienced recent “rock fall events.” The second site, just north of Spout Run, had a boulder fall onto the parkway as a result of the Aug. 23, 2011 earthquake, according to FHA.

In addition to the closure this coming weekend, one of the three northbound lanes of the parkway near Spout Run is closed through the end of the project, and a second (middle) lane is closed during non-rush hours. On top of that, two additional full weekend closures are also planned this month.

“A second and third full weekend closure at the north slide is tentatively scheduled for the weekends of October 13th and 14th and October 20th and 21st,” according to the Park Service.

Photo via the Federal Highway Administration

Car Flips on George Washington Parkway

by Katie Pyzyk | July 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm | 3,967 views | 28 Comments

(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) The Alexandria Fire Department and U.S. Park Police were on the scene of a car that flipped on the George Washington Parkway this afternoon.

The Honda landed on its roof in the median between the northbound and southbound lanes, in the area between Reagan National Airport and Daingerfield Island. There’s no word on injuries, but we hear that the driver was not trapped and did not need to be extricated by rescue personnel.

As of 2:35 p.m. the scene had been largely cleared, though residual delays remained in the southbound lanes of the parkway.

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