62°Light Rain

Glebe Road Shut Down Due to Pedestrian Accident

by ARLnow.com October 12, 2010 at 3:39 pm 3,826 85 Comments

A serious pedestrian accident has shut down all lanes of Glebe Road between North Carlin Springs Road and North Henderson Road, near Ballston Common Mall.

A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on Glebe Road and was taken to a local trauma center, according to Arlington police spokesperson Det. Crystal Nosal.

Update at 4:20 p.m. — The northbound lanes of Glebe Road have reopened. Traffic heading northbound from Glebe and from North Randolph Street is being allowed to enter the Harris Teeter parking lot.

Update at 4:30 p.m. — An accident investigation is underway. Police with surveying equipment are taking measurements and detectives are taking photos of the striking vehicle, a large commercial Chevy pickup truck with Maryland tags.

Witnesses tell ARLnow.com that the victim was a younger man, possibly a young father, who had just left Harris Teeter with a bag of diapers. The man’s injuries appeared to be life-threatening, witnesses said. Multiple witnesses said the man may have been trying to cross the intersection of Glebe Road and Randolph Street against the light.

Update at 4:50 p.m. — The striking vehicle has been taken away by a tow truck. One southbound lane of Glebe Road has been reopened.

  • Brian K

    I was on-scene a few minutes after it happened and spoke to eyewitnesses as well as a police detective. Here is what I gathered:

    A short Spanish woman was crossing in the crosswalk closest to Harris Teeter main entrance. A Chevy Avalance from a company I now forget with MD plates was making a left off N. Randolph St onto Glebe when he struck the woman who was in the crosswalk. It is unclear if she had the light, but there is no left turn signal so presumably she did.

    The truck through her a couple feet as seen by the police marking where she wound up. The truck then continued a few feet before stopping in the left travel lane of Glebe. The driver was sitting and talking to a detective and looking visibly shaken up.

    The police were measuring the truck and were also on the Harris Teeter balcony looking down at the scene. The detective said the woman would be ok, but that is unconfirmed.

  • Brian K

    A disagree with your report of a man being hit. I spoke with three witnesses who both saw the accident and saw the person being put into an ambulance. They all said it was a short Spanish female.

    • Investigators on the scene are also telling us the victim was male.

      • Brian

        Interesting, thanks for the update. This site is seriously great for local news.

    • cmg

      A person is only Spanish if they’re from Spain. I think you probably mean Hispanic. I know this isn’t the time to be nit-picky, but in an area with a high Hispanic population, it’s just respectful.

      I hope the victim is okay.

      • Jason S

        A lot of Hispanics call themselves “Spanish” or “Latin”, yet I’ve never met one outside of the clergy that spoke Latin.

  • Lou Dobbs

    When will these illegals learn to cross at the crosswalk?

    • Susan

      Go to Clarendon, or Rosslyn, you’ll see plenty of YUPPIES doing it there! Coffee cup in one hand, cell phone in the other.

      • Jason S

        Hey now, Susan, they are very important people. Also, we all have a moral responsibility to watch out for their comically large strollers for their special snowflakes.

        • Susan


    • Me

      How do you know he’s illegal? What does his status have anything to do with him getting hit by a truck. You’re so IGNORANT!

  • NorthAdams

    i’m sorry but if they have the survey stuff out this is very serious and they/us must be concerned it is a fatality.

  • Clarendude

    What a terrible tragedy these things are. Are these things occuring more frequently, or is it just that we now have better local reporting of them thanks to outlets like Arlnow and support from onsite witnesses like Brian K ? I think the reporting and awareness it raises is a very good thing. Makes you think about all the lives that are damaged by one second of inattention or distraction.

  • John Catoe

    “MD plates”. That tells you the whole problem right there.

    • MikeyinCrystalC

      Worst “drivers” in the DMV.

      • j

        and that is the worst acronym in the USA please stop using it

        • SD

          I bet you hate “DelMarVa” too- ha!

        • Frenchy B

          Agreed – Department of Motor Vehicles already owns that acronym.

    • Courthouse Resident

      You said it brother!

    • Teyo

      I was about to write the same thing re: MD plates. Also, DMV is a terrible acronym. What about something like VirDisMar or just Greater Washington. At least VirDisMar is a “word” that doesn’t make you think of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

    • Rover

      No kidding. MD plates all too often mean driving too fast, too careless, and not obeying signs or signals. What is with that state’s drivers?

      • Anthony

        MD drivers are not used to urban walkable communities.

  • a’town

    that intersection by the teeter is dangerous. for some reason, the drivers making a left from randolph onto glebe think they have a free left turn (i.e. an arrow) when they in fact do not.

    I cant tell you how many times drivers do not yield to the cars trying to exit the teeter lot and just make a left anyways. They need to yield on green to the drivers leaving teeter making a right/going straight onto randolph/walkers crossing glebe onto randolph.

    I have even seen metro buses do this. Why are they retarded and forget how to drive simply b/c the opposite intersection is an exit/entrance to a parking lot? That doesnt change basic left turn rules…..

    • Novanglus

      Same issue with people turning left on Wilson from NB Barton. Both intersections need a sign on the crossbar next to the light that says “Left Turn Yield to Oncoming Traffic”.

      I know the county doesn’t like to put up signs that state the obvious. But it’s clearly not obvious to everyone.

  • Native

    The driving in NoVa is getting worse by the day. This is an issue that needs to be addressed by DMV, police, and insurance companies. Bad drivers, inattentive drivers, speeders, aggressive drivers need to suffer harsher penalties for their poor driving before it results up in injury. Pedestrians need to wake up too!!

    • Jason S

      We don’t know that it was the driver’s fault yet.

      • Susan

        Oh, didn’t you know? It’s ALWAYS the driver’s fault, pedestrians are only poor victims!

      • CMG

        The driver’s always at some fault. In this situation it was sunny and daylight, so feel free to cite the pedestrian for jaywalking when he is dischared. Charge the driver with assault. If you choose to drive a vehicle larger than a tank or “Red October” you should be held accountable for your actions and destruction you create.

  • Katie

    Pedestrians getting hit/hurt/killed happens quite a lot–it’s just getting more press thanks to blogs like this one.

    People are on the phone, self-absorbed etc.–drivers AND pedestrians. I came out of the Harris Teeter garage in Shirlington, and I had the green light. There’s a blind spot on that short road–and suddenly I see three 45ish women, sauntering across the road. If I’d been looking away for a second, or driving too fast, I would have hit them.

  • anon

    As a general matter I have noticed many drivers, when making right and left turns, do not pay attention to crosswalks — which usually have the right of way.

    I never take it for granted that someone making a right or left turn will stop for me and despite my cautious crossing I have had a few near misses bc of speeding cars turning without a turn signal.

    • Katie

      I agree, anon. (That wasn’t the case in my Shirlington example, btw.)

      There are a lot of bad intersections on the busier road. Columbia Pike and Walter Reed is another. People have been hit and–if not killed, badly hurt–yet I never see follow up about it.

    • Rover

      I agree. I bike quite a bit, and I never take it for granted when crossing a road that traffic will give me the right of way in a cross walk. Despite being careful, I’ve had a few close calls. The thing that is irritating to me is the response of the drivers when the calls are close. They blame me, and have even flipped me off. It makes me want to key their car as they speed by.

  • G

    Recently I had someone honk at me several times from behind trying to take a right at the ballston mall parking lot entrance while i was crossing with the walk signal displayed. I was running to work at the time so it’s not like I was going slow. After this the driver and I got in a shouting match that continued for a solid two minutes. Even though he didn’t have a right turn signal, his excuse was “the light was green”. The light was only green for cars going straight, not taking a right into a cross walk. If I were blind how would I have known he wanted to do that?

    • cmg

      The nerve of him!!! Has he never seen a crosswalk in his life?

  • Susan

    This is something I see every day in Clarendon, pedestrians just walking across the street, no matter what color the signal is for them, or what’s coming, even people with baby strollers! I think the responsibility for not getting run over has to be shared equally, between drivers AND pedestrians, and pedestrians shouldn’t think that they have the right of way, all the time, no matter what, it works both ways. They need to put their damn call phones away and pay attention! And the cops need to ticket pedestrians not following the rules, just like they do drivers!

    • MikeyinCrystalC

      Damn straight!

    • Jason S

      I don’t see the cops ticketing either group. Personally, I want to see more tickets for delivery trucks on Wilson creating a visual obstruction which makes things really dangerous as well. We should keep our expectations realistic though and let them sit on their fat butts in their patrol cars talking on their cell phones.

      • Susan

        I have actually seen people crossing against the light, with a cop sitting right there, and they don’t do anything! But let a driver not give one of them the right-of-way, and see how fast those lights start flashing in your rear view mirror!

        • Nicole

          Once at the light in front of the metro, there was a public safety officer stationed at the crosswalk around 4:30-5pm. She was reminding everyone to cross with the walk signal and reminded those who crossed against the light that they shouldn’t be doing that. I don’t usually go that way, and I’m never usually coming home so early, so I haven’t seen that again. I wonder if it was a one time awareness raising activity or if she’s out there more often.

          • Nicole

            This was at Courthouse

  • Anthony

    I was there and saw the poor woman on the ground several bystanders went to help, the ambulance came within a few minutes. We must all remember that regardless of lights, phones, coffee’s etc., the pedestrian has the right of way. As a runner I never assume that and will not cross until I make eye contact with the driver and even then one never knows. I feel so bad for the woman and wanted to know if she survived. How would I find out?

    • Jason S

      Anthony, in Virginia the pedestrian does not have the right of way “regardless of lights, phones, coffee’s etc”. That mentality is what gets people hit by cars. I’ll be pretty annoyed if some genius steps in front of me and doesn’t have an estate for me to sue for car repairs.

      • Sam

        Actually, the pedestrian DOES have the right of way in any intersection, per Code of Virginia, section 46.2-924 “Drivers to stop for pedestrians; installation of certain signs; penalty.” (Note, this code does not apply to limited access highways)

        It states, quite clearly: “The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway: at any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block; at any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block; at any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.”

        It also goes on to say “The drivers of vehicles entering, crossing, or turning at intersections shall change their course, slow down, or stop if necessary to permit pedestrians to cross such intersections safely and expeditiously. Pedestrians crossing highways at intersections shall at all times have the right-of-way over vehicles making turns into the highways being crossed by the pedestrians.” You are correct though that right of way does not mean you can meander out into traffic without looking; pedestrians are required to cross responsibly.

        If she had a “don’t walk” signal, which she wouldn’t have had if the driver had a green light at that light, the driver had the right of way. In any intersection that does not have a walk/don’t walk signal, the pedestrian always has the right of way, even when oncoming traffic has a green light.

        • Lou

          Interesting that is says drivers can alter their path around a pedestrian to negotiate an intersection. Anyone complaining about cars swerving around them in the crosswalk should take note.

          • JD32

            Swerving around a pedestrian at a crosswalk does not constitute “permit[ting] pedestrians to cross such intersections safely and expeditiously.”

          • Lou

            As long as they make it to the other side, they’ve crossed safely.

          • MrCar

            Exactly, as long as contact is not made there is no incident. Swerving too much though can lead to abnormal wear on your tires and can be less satisfying. Taking your time and driving slowly can really afford one enough time to fully bond with your vehicle. Rushing the drive to get it over with as quickly as possible is just not as fulfilling.

          • JD32

            Don’t be asinine. How does swerving around a pedestrian foster a safe crossing environment?

          • Lou

            Swerving is a relative term. I just notice that some people seem appalled that a car would be in the crosswalk at the same time they are. Apparently that is legal.

        • Jason S

          Sam, I don’t get it. You start off by disagreeing, then show us when pedestrians don’t have the right of way, thusly proving my point. At the end, you finish it with the business walk/no-walk signals, which are covered in Virginia Code. If you are in a marked crosswalk and have a don’t walk signal, it is illegal for you to enter the crosswalk. I don’t *know* if the pedestrian in the article had a walk light or a don’t walk light, but if they had the do not walk light then they should be responsible for damages incurred to the vehicle along with incidental costs suffered by the driver.

  • DudeGuy

    Ok Ok Ok Ok, lets get this straightened out. It is not just South Arlington that j-walks or walks across the road (even the crosswalk) when you are not suppose to. I drive through Wilson, Clarendon Blvd and Washington Blvd everyday to go to work and the gym. There are people EVERY DAY *business people* crossing the road, just walking like they are something special, with no WALK sign and with cars coming towards them. Some of them speed up to make it across, but the majority just keep walking with their iPods in or their cell phones strapped to their heads. It gets really annoying because I have to slam on my brakes so I dont hit them. It gets really annoying. The worse is right by the Clarendon metro near Hard-Times crossing towards Clarendon Grill.

    Just because you have a crosswalk and you are able to cross does not mean you are allowed to
    Just because you have a crosswalk and the other cars have a green light does not mean you are allowed to. You have to have a WALK sign.

    Coming out of that Harris Teeter turning left onto Glebe, there is a crosswalk with a crossing sign (Walk/Don’t Walk) but a lot of the times no one hits the button, so when someone is turning left out of HT and has a green light, the pedestrian will not have a WALK sign and they still go… they should not be doing that either.

    Here I will make it simple for everyone

    Walk across the street with no iPod on or cell phone
    Walk across the street ONLY at a cross walk
    Walk across the street ONLY when you have a WALK sign
    If there is no WALK sign, cross when the other cars have a green light but watch for turning vehicles.

    I am really surprised more people have not been killed by cars in this area, pedestrians might have the right of way, but a car will kill you.

    • Susan

      THANK YOU!

    • Cranky Crankypants

      Unfortunately, it is not as simple as “Walk across the street ONLY at a crosswalk” because any time there is a roadway intersection with a sidewalk, there is a crosswalk, just sometimes they are “unmarked.” We as drivers need to untwist our knickers and accept the fact that there are other legitimate road users out there – both stupid and clever, in vehicles and out – that we must look out for.

      • DudeGuy

        Cranky, it is that easy. How about this… just because the is not a marked crosswalk does not mean there is not a crosswalk. If people use their brains, go to the corner of the street, usually where there are stop signs or stop lights and cross as you are suppose to do. I see too many idiots at Whole Food crossing the street in the middle to go to Starbucks when a crosswalk is 100 feet away.

        If there is an unmarked crosswalk, find a crosswalk or wait for your “turn” to cross the street…. oh and take your iPod out of your ears and cell phone off your head.

    • Richard Simmons

      You drive to the gym?

      • DudeGuy

        Yup! I have to when I go straight to the gym from work or when I have to run errands after the gym.

        I know I know Richard, but the Metro does not need another stinky person on it after my gym work out, there are enough dirty people on there already.

      • Clarendude

        I had a friend that moved in with me that was whining and complaining that there was no place to park at the gym near my house. I literally had to point out to him that the front door of the gym was less than 800 ft from the front door of the house. He was a reasonable guy, seemed a bit embarrassed and started walking there from then on. But, really he had never ever thought about it, he was just so used to “driving to the gym” when he lived out in the exurbs.

        • Arlingtonian

          Oh yeah, I have friends who work out every day but then think I’m crazy when I suggest we walk a block or two up the street to get to a restaurant or bar rather than worrying about where to park the dumb car.

    • CMG

      yea, sounds real simple to you. Try getting your fat a$$ out of your car once in a while that you drive to the gym, and get a pedestrian point of view. the system is designed to keep cars moving and not to encourage cycling and walking as a sustainable community. sorry your fat foot needs to shift 4 inches to the left to apply the brake. i assume you drive to the gym and get on a treadmill or cycle to do “cardio”. you’re pathetic.

    • michael Harkin

      The main reason no one hits the button is that it has been torn off for months ergo there is no button to hit. Arlington County does not seem to care. I have reported the missing button every week for approximately the past six weeks. Even after this accident the button has not been repaired.

  • RestonRunner86

    Wow. Reading about all of these collisions as of late makes me wonder why Arlington’s finest aren’t more aggressively ticketing everyone to bring more revenues into your supposedly “broke” (while ironically simultaneously very affluent) county.

    Ticket vehicles that turn onto streets without first permitting pedestrians in the crosswalk of those streets with the “WALK” signal to cross, even if they have the green light.
    Ticket pedestrians who cross against the “WALK” signal.
    Ticket pedestrians who do not cross at a crosswalk.
    Ticket vehicles that make a right-hand-turn-on-red into the path of cyclists or pedestrians with a “WALK” signal.
    Ticket vehicles that run red lights.
    Ticket cyclists who don’t obey the rules of the road.
    Ticket cyclists who don’t warn pedestrians before passing (a HUGE problem in Arlington County).
    Ticket drivers who drift in and out of the bike lanes because they are too busy texting to notice.
    Ticket drivers who are texting while driving.
    Ticket people who double-park and block bike lanes.
    Ticket people who park on the sidewalks, forcing pedestrians into the street.

    Shall I continue? Why is this such a difficult concept for your police department? It’s sad that Arlington has to become such a “nanny state” given the supposed intellectual prowess of its citizenry, but I digress. Budget troubles? They’d be gone tomorrow if police were more aggressive with traffic-related citations.

    • Susan

      Very cool, good idea!

    • Skeptical

      As an inveterate walker I think you have something going here.

  • Deb

    Wow. All this blame being thrown around even though we don’t actually know what happened. No doubt those of you blaming all pedestrians everywhere for all the evil in the universe are the ones who try to run me over when I’m in the crosswalk WITH a walk signal.

    • Susan

      That’s because in a lot of cases, the dumb-ass pedestrians are at fault! They are completely unaware of ANYTHING going on around them, yapping and/or texting, and just generally not paying any attention at all. I think we need to put more emphasis on them taking their share of the blame!

      • Arlingtonian

        AMEN. I’m TERRIFIED I’m going to be the next person hitting a careless pedestrian. Yes, I get that there are insane drivers around here, but I’m tired of no one talking about the insane jaywalkers! EVERY DAY people run out in front of my car out of nowhere, laughing like it’s a joke, or babbling on their cell phone while strolling in the dark where I can barely see them, unable to hear me even HONKING at them, or even using the @#$! turn lanes like a pedestrian walkway, walking with their backs to me, making no attempts to get up on the sidewalk at all. I’m only 29 but I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a premature heart attack any day now. Then it seems all anyone can say is, “Wow, someone has to do something about these careless *drivers*” Well, if I accidentally hit you with my two ton vehicle while driving the speed limit, because you didn’t even give me a chance to screech to a halt, all the care in the world matters none.

    • DudeGuy

      Deb, how did this become about you all of a sudden? And who is blaming all pedestrians everywhere, oh yeah, you brought it up. We are blaming pedestrians that do not exercise the correct way to cross a street and the correct way to add precaution to their commute.

      • Deb

        There have been other threads recently about accidents in this neighborhood in which I’ve mentioned how frequently I am almost hit while crossing in the crosswalk with a walk signal. That is what I am referring to. And you are still blaming the pedestrian when we still don’t know what happened here. In a lot of cases, the dumb-ass drivers are at fault.

        We’re talking about a human being who was injured, probably severely. Someone with a baby at home. Where is the compassion for him and his family? This is a tragedy, regardless of the cause.

        • DudeGuy

          Deb, I did not say anything about this situation being this pedestrians fault.

          • CMG

            maybe not, but you seem to hold a grudge against pedestrians. Ironically you live in Arlington County, drive to the gym (lame), and I can only imagine the size of your SUV and the suspension package you have on it to help you cling to whatever ounce of ruggedness and “manhood” you wish you had. Pedestrians rights are too often forgotten by the motoring imbicils like yourself and “we” walkers are constantly bullied through crosswalks and have to deal with verbal harassment and threatening engine revving on a daily basis. At the end of the day, this individual is in a coma and bled on the street. The only injury to the drivers is a little dent on the grill, a broken headlight, and a bloodstained hood. Now we want to blame pedestrians all of a sudden and people like you continue to complain about traffic and wonder when VDOT is going to improve driving conditions around here in an URBAN region. Like I said before DudeGuy, you’re pathetic, go drive your fat a$$ back to the gym.

  • Susan

    And for the record, I ALWAYS yield to pedestrians, do NOT try to run them over, and am quite often paying a lot more attention then they are!

    • Pedestrian

      What a WONDERFUL person you for NOT trying to run us over 🙂

      • DudeGuy

        This made me laugh

      • Susan

        Now if the pedestrians would get their heads out of their asses, get off the phone, and pay attention, things would be better for both sides!

  • Deb

    Drivers have a responsibility to actually STOP before making right turns at red lights and to actually LOOK before making a left-hand turn to make sure that a person is not LEGALLY in the crosswalk. Commenters on this page imply that ALL pedestrians are really inconveniencing drivers by stepping into a crosswalk. Well…excuse me…jaywalkers are doing something illegal…drivers not yielding to people in the crosswalks are doing the same. You guys who are asking “how many angels dance on the head of a pin” are splitting hairs….if a person is off the curve and in the freaking crosswalk at a red light…please, save your obnoxious driving behavior…STOP. Geez. You are soooo self absorbed…Geez…GET A LIFE. This story is about a woman run over by a driver. The Driver did not have adequate control of the vehicle…THIS IS A PERSON’s life…not about YOUR wish to drive as your wish regardless of how it affects people around you.

    • DudeGuy

      Again, no one is saying ALL pedestrians Deb, you are.

    • CMG

      thanks Deb, it seems most of the anti-walkers never are the same people who pack into their expeditions to drive to the library 1/4 mile away on a sunny September afternoon.

      • CMG

        EDIT: *thanks Deb, it seems most of the anti-walkers never are the same people who pack into their expeditions to drive to the library 1/4 mile away on a sunny September afternoon.*

      • CMG

        EDIT (AGAIN) *thanks Deb, it seems most of the anti-walkers ARE the same people who pack into their expeditions to drive to the library 1/4 mile away on a sunny September afternoon.*

  • John

    Is there any actual update on the status of the pedestrian? This morning (October 14th), a sign was set-up by police asking for information about the accident. As much as I am hoping that the pedestrian is OK, I have fears of the worst. (And, if it was a pure accident … the driver of the truck must be distraught too.)

    Having intially been irritated on Tuesday because of the traffic back-ups on Glebe, I now feel bad that someone actually might have lost their life. Both drivers and pedestrians have a responsibility to be attentive to the traffic around them. Hands off the phones … ipods … coffee cups … and hands on the wheel.

  • c d

    What pisses me off is along the trail in shirlington bikers routinely blow through the stop signs and through the intersections. you don’t know how many times i’ve almost hit someone because they failed to yield. It’s posted, by law, that anyone on the bike paths must stop before crossing the intersection. Ridiculous!

    • CMG

      maybe the stop signs should be on the road and not the path? It’s not cyclists killing drivers that’s occurring. It’s a lot easier to shift your lead foot to the brake and stop for a second, than it is to constantly re-gear, re-pedal and build up your cruising speed on a bicycle. What a major discouragement that is for cyclists. How about you be more proactive “CD” and slow down a little bit, and don’t go through those crossings like a bat out of hell.

  • TAllen

    With all the palaver going on here, has anyone discovered what actually happened? Was it a man with Huggies or a short Hispanic woman? Who actually (no guessing here) had the right of way? What condition is the struck person in? Has the driver been charged with anything?

    • The bad news is that these details will likely not be released. The good news is that the reason the details haven’t been released yet is because, at last check, the victim has survived. It’s still possible that if the driver is charged with a crime we might hear something.

  • Raj

    The moral of the story is, never trust signals. Always rely on eye-contact and use the signas as “guidelines”.

    Regardless of whether its yuppies or poor spanish-Latin-Greek-hispanic immigrants or Old Dominion aristocrats, people simply STROLL on the crosswalks, with utter disregard for safety.

    They should also be more careful when they see vehicles with maryland plates, as its one of the states that allows dual-mode driving. (drive on the left AND the right hand side of the road)


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