Motorcyclist Killed in Collision on Route 50

by ARLnow.com October 16, 2010 at 3:07 am 8,289 109 Comments

A motorcyclist died after a violent collision with a car on Route 50 Friday night.

The accident occurred just after 9:00 p.m. at the intersection of Route 50 and Irving Street. The car, a Nissan, collided with the motorcycle in the intersection, police said. The motorcyclist was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the car remained on scene.

Police say the accident is under investigation. So far, no charges have been filed. The name of the motorcyclist is being withheld while police notify his next of kin.

The accident scene told the story of a horrific collision. Parts of the motorcycle were spread across the eastbound lanes of Route 50. The car’s front end was badly damaged, the airbags were deployed, and the front windshield was shattered. A single black leather cowboy-style boot lay upright near the side of the road.

The wreck shut down the eastbound lanes of Route 50 for several hours as investigators took photos and tried to figure out how the accident happened.

One man who lived nearby said he heard the accident from his house and walked to the scene to see what had happened. He said there have been at least three other accidents at the intersection in recent memory.

Update on 10/17: The driver is expected to be charged with DWI and manslaughter, sources tell ARLnow.com. The accident happened when the victim was heading eastbound and the suspect was turning from the westbound lanes, we’re told.

Police say they expect to release more information about the crash on Monday.

Update on 10/18: The suspect has been charged with manslaughter, and the victim has been identified. The possible DWI charge, mentioned above, has not materialized yet. But police tell us they’re still investigating whether alcohol could have played a factor in the accident.

From a police news release:

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a fatal accident that occurred on Friday, October 15, 2010, at Arlington Boulevard (Route 50) and Irving Street.  At approximately 9:09 P.M., a vehicle collided with a motorcycle in the intersection.

The driver of the motorcycle was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He has been identified as Gerald Glasper, 42, of Arlington.

The striking vehicle remained on scene. Jonathan Mendez, 25, of Washington D.C. charged with Manslaughter later that evening. He was held at the Arlington County Detention Center without bond.

The accident is still under investigation. Arlington County Police ask that anyone who witnessed the accident or has information relating to this incident call Detective Tamara Celestini at (703) 228-4164.

  • Brian K

    What does it seem that ACPD keeps feeding bad info to the media?

    Based on your pictures, the car involved is definitely a Nissan Altima, not a Lexus. And with that ped accident on Glebe by Harris Teeter, I still believe based on some witness remarks that it was a woman, not a man.

    Do you factcheck what they tell you or just go based on their saying?

    • No, that was my fault. I thought I saw Lexus rims, wrote it in my notes — then didn’t pay close enough attention to the photos when I posted this. I’ll correct the story.

    • WL

      Might try emailing the author on future factual disputes. No need to publicly challenge the credibility of the cite based on minor factual discrepancies.

      • TGEoA

        Why not? Scott is one of the few people that will make immediate corrections AND thank the person who noted the discrepancy.

        • Brian K

          That’s one of the things I love about this site. Not only is a great source of Arlington information, but the editor/writer is responsive, honest and straightforward with us, the audience/

  • cmnsnse

    Anyone on scene could see it was a nissan BRIAN. Do you believe everything you read 2nd hand on a piddley website????

    • DT

      No need to insult the site. They do a great job of reporting Arlington news.

      • MM

        Ditto. Those photos fully capture the magnitude of this tragedy. Great coverage ARLnow.

  • charlie

    Sad story. We need to make Route 50 limited access. All these cross streets are deadly.

  • ctbeachbm

    Agree with Charlie, it’s time for the state to consider major changes to 50. It’s a very dangerous road.

  • Undoubtedly, speed was most likely a factor. The speed limit is 45mph and the limit is never obeyed. No one wants “photo red light” cameras, but this needs to happen on Route 50 in very strategic places. Condolences to the deceased’s family.

  • Eunice

    Drove past this last night at 10pm and I felt very sad for those involved. Drove past it again at midnight and cops were still working in full force diverting traffic. The motorbike still lying there and pieces of car/bike everywhere. My condolences to the deceased’s family.

  • Let’s Be Free

    That’s not the first time someone has been killed at this intersection — it’s the worst. If you are crossing Route 50 on Irving make sure to look both left and right. Don’t assume the Route 50 traffic stops for the red light.

    And don’t even think about turning left onto Irving. County has gotten a grant to redesign the intersection. They should start the design work immediately.

    • JJ

      @ Let’s be Free–do you know when they got the grant or any of the details?

  • Carla

    The man who died in the accident was my brother-in-law. It’s very upsetting to look at these pictures. It seems that it’s becoming more and more commonplace that people run red lights, RED lights, not just yellow. I see it all the time. I think it may be necessary to crack down on those violations as lives are very obviously in jeopardy.

    • CMG

      my sincere condolences to you and your family Carla. This is another tragedy on our roadways that we read about all to often. As a non-car driver and full time MC rider, this is one of my greatest fears. I hope the police are thorough in their investigation, leave no loop-holes or mistakes, and this driver is charged, prosecuted, and sentenced to the fullest extent of the law. In the meantime, as much as I’m opposed to more limited access highways (50 practically already is), the intersections of Irving, Fillmore, Pershing, Courthouse, Manchester, Edison, Park, and Henderson are long overdue for a major overhaul.

    • Tivona

      My condolences to you and your family. I grew up in Italy with your brother-in-law. It is very sad to hear of his passin. You all are in my prayers.

    • Carla, my condolences to you and your family as well. My husband and I drove westward on 50 at about 9:30 Friday night and we were horrified to see the damage on the road. We immediately said a prayer for the driver of the bike – we knew there was no way he would survive that crash. That night we said prayers for his soul and for all his family and friends. I’ve thought of you all this weekend – I don’t know you but know you are in our prayers.

  • J

    The car was westbound, and turned left in front of the motorcycle, causing the accident. Speed was not a factor for either involved. The driver of the car was charged with manslaughter/DWI.

    • Thank you. I’m now more or less hearing the same thing from other sources.

  • roquer

    I was a police officer in Arlington Police for a lot of years. The 50 & Irving intersection, in my opinion, is THE most accident prone intersection for serious accidents, in Arlington. A lot of serious accidents, all with injuries, or fatalities have happened in that intersection. It’s a terrible place to stop to make a left turn on Rt.50 going EB. It’s a terrible place to make a left turn there from either direction. I’m sorry for the young man and his family.

    • shirley

      maybe ARLNOW could resurrect the “worst intersections” list that the Arlington Journal used to feature. Worst intersections based on annual accident count.

  • John B

    The deceased was truly a great man. Carla I never met you but I worked with G going back all the way to the Clarendon Ballroom and I worked with him every Friday and Sat in Adams Mo. He was one of the most sincere gentlemen I’ve ever met, nothing but kind words and encouragement. He truly devoted every moment to the perfection of that moment. Definitely going to miss that smile and all the wisdom he imparted. Condolences to you and his brother, and especially the girls.

  • Paula

    chilling to see these photos of my dear friends bike, I am so saddened.

  • Cc

    Motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet nor was his headlights on.

    • Rich

      Nice try but your facts are not facts.

      • Katie

        Certainly looks like a helmet in the foreground of one of those photos.

    • Susan

      Helmets are MANDATORY in Arlington

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  • TD

    This is a shame, and my condolences…from the pictures and info given it seems to pretty clearly put the driver at fault, and it’s horrible to now hear that he/she was DWI. Let’s focus on the sadness of the situation for the family, and remember that this shouldn’t be labeled as another “reckless motorcycle speeding crash”, it’s an irresponsible drunk driver that created this.

  • Cc

    Actually I know details if this unfortunate incident. Alcohol was not a factor in this accident. Driver of Nissan is a highly decorately veteran with specialty medical training. Driver went to make left hand turn in which the motorcyclist had no headlights. Driver called 911 and performed CPR on the cyclist which was not wearing his helmet.

    • John Shaft

      Motorcycle headlights don’t have switch to turn them off, if the bike is running, the headlights are on

    • RestonRunner86

      While your friend (or you) may feel terribly guilty to have caused (albeit unintentionally) the death of another human being, please don’t distort reality to make your friend (or you) look more favorable to the public. The good things the driver did? He stopped. He called 911. He may have indeed tried to render aid. Those are all positives in my book; however, they aren’t going “above and beyond.” If I turned into the path of someone and severely injured them in the process then I, too, would do everything I could to try to help to make that person’s final moments as endurable as possible. That’s what should be EXPECTED in such a situation.

    • George

      Cc or whoever you are. Your comments in support of the driver are insulting. Just so you know, your “highly decorately veteran” was responsible for the death of a friend and a fellow veteran MARINE who I served with and knew personally. Gerald Glasper’s service was just as stellar to our nation having severed honorably and faithfully for 12 years. Corporal Glasper served as a Marine Security Guard at several American Embassies abroad. Before leaving active service, Drill Instructor, Sergeant Gerald Glasper was instrumental in training a number recruits now fellow Marines. Some of whom are now serving on foreign shores. If the driver refused to submit to a breathalyzer, then he had something to hide and was probably in the wrong when he sat behind the steering wheel. Either way, the driver will wake up tomorrow and have something to regret. Gerald won’t. So don’t try and lessen the culpability of the driver by glamorizing any medical assistance the driver rendered. I would have expected nothing less from any other citizen “with specialty medical training.” The driver now has consequences to deal.
      George Holguin, MGySgt, USMC (Retired)

  • compassion

    CC: and let me guess, you administered the breathalyzer yourself? how disgusting of you to attempt to challenge the findings of the investigative team during a time like this….the family is suffering, yet you feel the need to INACCURATELY challenge the investigation? You’re dispicable….

  • Cc

    There was no breathalyzer given.

    • Rich

      Blood in a fatal CC. You don’t know the facts. But here is one, your decorated veteran will soon be able to tell us all how good the food is in the Arlington Detention Center. Unless he is sent to the state.

    • Drew

      breathalyzer was refused. Big difference.

  • Charles

    G was one of the most caring people I knew. Anybody who knew G knows that everytime he interact with his goal was to make your day a little brighter. G took a great interest in me and looked out for me. If I ever needed a friend to talk to or needed a spot in the gym he was there. For all those who had the pleasure of knowing him know that G left an unforgettable impression upon eveyone he touched. You will be missed.

  • Katie

    I guess the Nissan driver was released on his (or her) own recognizance and has internet access.

    • Rich


  • J

    Well, Cc, I am not sure how many details you know or think you know. The motorcyclist WAS wearing a helmet, which was removed during medical treatment. The motorcyclist DID have functioning headlights that were on at the time of the accident. And the motorcyclist did not appear to be speeding, at least according to witnesses and preliminary accident details. Full accident reconstruction will make final determination. The driver of the car was believed to be intoxicated, and was charged as such. A common misconception is that the absence of a breathalyzer makes a DWI conviction tough, but that is not true. If it were only that easy, then nobody would ever take one. Exigent circumstances allow the taking of blood if refused by the driver, at least in this case.

  • Cc

    The driver of the Nissan was the one providing medical treatment. He provided CPR to him and did everything that he could to save his life.

    • Rich

      Except yield the right of way.

      • Susan

        Right on

      • CMG

        everything to save his life? maybe he should’ve taken his drunk ass home in a taxi

  • Cc

    Rich. Right of way if you have your headlights on at 9pm. That part of 50 is a bad place to be,especially if your headlights are not on. The city should do something about it since there had been 3 other accidents in the exact same area.

    • Rich

      Guess I should explain the dynamics of a helmet coming off of a rider who impacts a vehicle. Guess I should explain about the headlight smashed to bits. But the decorated veteran better come up with something better.

  • Cc

    Rich you are such a negative person and lacking any real knowledge of this situation. Why dontyou leave the real investigation to the qualified people. We as the people must petition to the city of the safety issue of this intersection.

    • ST

      CC you’re right and wrong about petitioning for the change to the intersection. First, yes, the intersection needs to be fixed. Second, Arlington COUNTY, is not a city. Yet another fact you failed to check before typing your opinion.

  • Rich

    I might be negative but I know every detail of what happened here. I am sorry for all involved more so than you might imagine. But nothing I’ve said is incorrect. And the person who caused this is grasping. Sorry for your friend (or maybe it’s you) But we don’t get to press rewind on life, so the veteran must deal with this. Headlight and helmet were on. I am sorry for your friend. I’m out.

  • TD

    CC- i like how you are using rhetoric and actually believe you are strengthening your argument, when in fact you are weakening it. Your thoughts that the bike had no lights or helmet on actually make you sound much less credible. Did you just google “how to blame a motorcyclist” and click the first link? Riding without a helmet and working lights is about as uncommon as someone driving with their car door open. Just because someone served does not make them bulletproof from making mistakes.

  • Captain Krunchy

    Cc- And for what it’s worth, there is no “city” in Arlington… Arlington is a county.. So you got exactly “ZERO” facts right in your attempt to defend your friend based solely on allegations made by another associate of the accused who lacks any impartiality whatsoever (or are you the associate yourself?!).. You should just shut your yap and let the focus be on the death of an innocent motorist and his family & friends left behind… YOUR friend will have his day in court, and Society will ultimately let the jury decide his culpability & fate…

  • DKH

    I’ve been reading everyones comments. I am a friend of the motorcyclist, he and I went to high school together, he was in my wedding, and was one of GREAT friends. Although appreciated, the untruths and accusations will be made truth somehow. Whether by confession, or investigation.
    For those of us that ride, motorcycle generally don’t have an on/off switch. So when the ignition is turned on, tail lights, (Amber and red) and HEADLIGHTS come on as part of the motorcycles system. . Because of where the headlight is (front) and looking at where the impact was (front right side of car) the headlight, typically, would not have survived the crash. That will have to be determined by investigative measures. No helmet? NOT LIKELY!! He didnt ride without one.
    Please let the investigators do they’re work, please stop speculating. Family and friends are waiting for the outcome from the police, so we can put our hearts at ease. Thanks.

    • PAG

      Well said D

  • Al

    Man, you have all missed the point. This site is a great clearinghouse for fast information. They do a great job of quick information dissemination. Not an appropriate place for legal discussions or to pursue personal goals or vendetta. Arlnow: thanks for the info. You do a great job.

  • FriendofVictim

    For the CC guy that said it was a decorated veteran. The guy’s name is Jonathan Mendez and he is 25 years old. Now what do you have to say???

  • Another Friend of Victim

    CC and Driver of Nissan – I hope driver rots in Prison. Its insulting to think that CC is saying “Driver of Nissan did everything he could to help him” … except call a Taxi and not drive.

    G was the most responsible of Bike Drivers and has paid the ultimate price for an ASS who should not be drinking and driving. There is NO EXCUSE for this …

    G – RIP.

  • mc

    May G rest in peace. May the courts provide justice to G’s family. May the perpetrator pay for his crime.

  • KnewG

    First….condolences to G’s family. Wonderful man, always a smile, a soft soul inside a body of steel…may he rest in peace.

    Second….I did some research on the driver, and it appears that he did have extensive medical experience, including military work.

    Lastly….allow the investigators to do their jobs. as tragic as an event as this is, it isn’t made better by tossing accusations and obsenities across the table. Unquestionably, G’s life ended in a manner no one could have imagined, and by all accounts thus far…not even the driver. for G’s sake, and the sake of his family….mourn his death, celebrate his life, and if necessary, be angry…..but I ask that at some point you also pray for the driver; that he may be able to find his own peace in time….one life lost is enough…..

    • Katie

      Well said.

      And to Cc, who may have been in the car with the driver–or is his friend or lover or relative–give it a rest. You are NOT helping him.

  • Atown

    N-Pros on the DWI charge>>>>>>>
    GT10044503-00 MENDEZ, JONATHAN ALEXANDER 10/18/2010 09:30 AM Nolle Prosequi
    Arlington County General District Charge:
    DWI, 1ST Complainant:
    GREEN, A

    GT10044521-00 MENDEZ, JONATHAN ALEXANDER 10/20/2010 09:30 AM Pending Case
    Arlington County General District Charge:
    GREEN, A

    • I believe that was a charge that was accidentally filed before blood work came back from the lab. Another charge could still be filed.

  • Joe

    Like Charles, my wife and I knew G from Gold’s Gym, where he had befriended us and taken up an interest in helping us with our training. He jokingly called us the “power couple” because we were one of the only married couples training together in the gym. G was a wonderful man with a great laugh and a generous spirit. We were both deeply grieved to learn of his accident and passing, as he was a friend whom we always looked forward to seeing, and we only liked and respected him more as we got to know him better. With great sadness we extend our deepest sympathies and blessings to G’s family. He will be sorely missed.

  • JMR

    Like some others on this site I to was a good friend of G. I also was a co-worker and roommate for with him for about a year. He was most definitely a good guy who would always help anyone out even if they didn’t ask. He was someone I could go to if I had a problem or needed advise. I also worked out with him in at Golds before i moved out of state. Its been some time since i seen him,but he would call me once and awhile to check up and see how my family and I where doing. That’s the kind of guy he was. He never forgot about anyone and cared for his friends and family a great deal. All around a model gentleman. There’s not a lot of good people like G left in this wold. Its a shame too. I just hope I never meet the criminal that did this to him. (for his sake)
    God bless Gerald and his family. He will be missed dearly.

  • IJ

    Cc… I concur with My MGySgt…Your comments in support of the driver are insulting!!!

    You really need to hold your tongue, it matters little whether or not your friend was drunk or that he attempted to assist Gerald…YOU, need to realize the totality of the situation and the irreversibility and finality of your friend’s negligence.

    Your friend was responsible for the death of a friend and a fellow veteran MARINE who I served with and knew personally. I served with both Gerald Glasper and MGySgt G.H. as a US Marine Security Guard

  • sla(c)

    I have read all these comments…and just tried to put my feelings aside. This man just killed my friend- fault of alcohol or fault of who knows….my friend a- son, a friend, a marine, a father and a wonderful man was taken that night. The man who struck him down with his vehicle, will have to deal with that on his own terms and those with his realationship with GOD.. The justice system of The United States Of America (which Lance served to protect) will justly deal with the consequences of his actions while here on earth. My thoughtsv are with all those Lance touched in his life on earth- may we all take a small part and pass it along. To his family, his daughters- my deepest heart felt condolences go out to you.
    I loved my friend- I will certainly miss Lance very much.

  • Jen

    If this is the same accident that I’m thinking of, the man who was in the car just got sentenced to 3 years in prison. They convicted him on DUI charges, but he only blew a .02 and he did CPR on the guy until paramedics arrived. The man on the bike was the brother of a cop so they really threw the book at this guy.

    What is wrong with our justice system when a man that wasn’t even really drunk gets 3 years in prison but people that are clearly drunk and clearly drinking and driving get a slap on the wrist?

    • Jen

      If it’s not the same story then it’s very similar to the one I’m thinking of.

      And before comments are made I belong to MADD and I am a huge fan of what MADD does and I do not condone Drink Driving AT ALL! my belief is if you have even 1 drink, you better have someone else driving you home.

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