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Police Shut Down 14th Street Bridge

by ARLnow.com March 2, 2011 at 10:49 am 3,516 37 Comments

Update at 11:45 p.m. — News outlets are reporting that the officer’s injuries are not life-threatening.

Update at 3:15 p.m. — All lanes of I-395 in D.C. have been reopened.

Update at 12:00 p.m.D.C. is telling Arlington that the accident was fatal (this has NOT been confirmed). Police are blocking I-395 on the D.C. side of the 14th Street Bridge to allow for an extended investigation. Traffic is being diverted onto 14th Street in D.C.

Update at 11:45 a.m. — The bridge has been shut down again. Traffic is being diverted onto Boundary Channel Drive.

Update at 11:20 a.m. — All lanes of the 14th Street Bridge have reopened. Traffic issues remain in D.C., where eastbound I-395 is still blocked.

Earlier: Arlington police have shut down the northbound lanes of the 14th Street Bridge at the request of D.C. officials.

The closure is due to the landing of a Medevac helicopter in D.C. The helicopter will be landing in the area of I-395 and 7th Street SW, where a U.S. Park Police motorcycle officer (per WTOP’s Adam Tuss) was injured in a collision.

Northbound I-395 traffic is being diverted onto the George Washington Parkway.

  • B

    News 4 is saying a DC motorcycle officer who was struck

  • hypocrisy

    Totally feel for the injured party and hope he/she ends up ok.

    But when else do you see medivacs landing in DC to take injured citizens to the hospital. If this were a civilian, wouldn’t they be forced to use the typical ambulance no matter how dire the injury?

    • Allan

      Are you an idiot? They bring them in when A) the person’s injuries are so severe that immediate transport is required or B) when there is no way to get an ambulance to the scene quickly.

      Civilians are transported all the time by Medevac – that’s what keeps our Level I Trauma Centers busy.

      • hypocrisy

        While I don’t disagree that medivacs are used for civilians frequently, I think it is very very rare in the District in restricted air space. Can you point to many instances of this occuring in the district that close to the White House and Capitol Hill?

        • Hank

          Medevac aircraft have a blanket waiver to operate inside the Flight Restriction Zone (FRZ) that surrounds Washington DC. That airspace is also inside the CLass B airspace for DCA. There are established low-level helicopter transit routes through the class B airspace around DCA so medevac and military helicopters will not interfere with arrivals and departures from DCA.

          Medevac operators do this stuff everyday.

          • cj

            Thank you for providing actual facts, although that may dampen the wild speculation which can be more fun.

          • northAdams

            my only fun somedays is to create preposterous tales blaming everyone for my ills and whatever arlnow chooses to blog.

          • BrownFlipFlops

            Yes. Thanks, Hank. Right on the money.

        • Arlwhenever

          I’ve observed Medevac helicopters transporting would be Lance Armstrong injured bicyclists from Haines Point multiple times.

  • abuse

    The helicopter departed with injured officer 25 minutes ago. Why continue to block streets? This is nonsense to continue blocking roads. Accident is at SW Freeway, so 14th St bridge could reopen. Typical cops abusing power.

    • DC didn’t notify Arlington.

    • Allan

      Because more than one vehicle was involved – they need to investigate the accident and clear the vehicles involved. Fairies didn’t come and “poof” it all away.

      • Ben

        Not to mention if the accident proves fatal (more likely if a medivac is needed) then a more thorough investigation takes place….

    • borf

      Somebody’s ranting while stuck in traffic.

  • abuse

    SW freeway completely blocked east bound. Cops could be directing traffic off freeway and around accident using 7th street ramp but Cops are just forcing everyone to sit parked on freeway. That is cops abusing power rather than helping.

  • hmmm?

    Not sure how blocking traffic ranks up there with abusing power?

    • CrystalMikey


    • Maria

      It does on the internet.

  • Arl Resident

    My office overlooks the crash site which is on SW Freeway at 7th St SW, not the 14th St bridge. It would involve much less police work to divert traffic around accident site using off-ramps at and near 7th st SW. 14th St bridge could be open and traffic could flow without any interference in crash investigation AND using a lot less police than the current “block everything because a fellow officer was involved.” A little common sense could go a long way here.

  • Arlwhenever

    I walked over to the scene. It appears that a police motorcycle (with side-car like wheeled extensions on both sides) was backended/sideswiped throwing the officer off the vehicle. It appears that there were multiple accidents behind as vehicles attempted (apparently successfully) to evade the fallen officer and his bike. Multiple sources, including a Park Police official, reported that the accident was NOT fatal — in the words of that Park Police official the officer was “banged up” and the injuries are “not life threatening.”

    As for diverting traffic to side streets after allowing traffic into the District, the side streets are mostly gridlocked as is.

    I concur that this is an extremely thorough and meticulous investigation, involving both DC Metro and Park Police. That’s what you get with an officer down and it’s fitting, IMHO.

    • Tabby

      Thanks for the report. I hope that the officer will be OK.

      • Arlwhenever

        You are welcome. I am praying that the on-the-scene reports are accurate.

  • AllenB

    It’s amazing how many “experts” we have here on how to direct traffic around a fatal accident and the subsequent investigation. Just amazing.

    • Bekah


  • steve

    Is smoking allowed on the 14th St. Bridge?

  • RespectfortheinjuredOFFICER

    another police officer hit in as many as 3 days? I hope they are doing ok. As for you scumbags who are first and foremost concerned that you’re stuck in traffic or USPP are out to ruin your day, you can just all go to hell. FYI, the medivac is USPP as well, so they have no reservations to come help their own. All anyone is concerned about anymore is how bad their life is because they’re stuck in a delay for a little while, you people are pathetic.

    • DB


    • Slayingthedragon


    • Forwhatitzworth


  • CrystalMikey


    • borf


  • Rodney King

    Can’t we all just get along? “go to hell” because someone would like the Police to use some common sense while investigating a traffic accident? I fail to see why suggesting the use of common sense would cause another person to react with so much anger. Traffic is overloaded in this area, so any non-essential disruptions causes needless delays. Please note: “common sense” “non-essential” does not equate with a suggestion to run over accident victims. Please use common sense.

    • Sam

      Common sense from those who typically never have had to deal with a large traffic situation like this can vary a great deal from those who do it regularly and have been trained to do it. It’s easy to second guess from the cheap seats.

    • jan

      maybe DC was taking extra precautions because of the Key Bridge crash that injured an officer

    • RespectfortheinjuredOFFICER

      it’s a CITY…. Either deal with.the delays, take Metro (although not immune from their delays), ride a bicycle, or just stay home.

  • northAdams

    If it were a chase or similar and the officer dies it is big sentencing. So maybe they want to be thorogh to ensure a good case for killing n officer in a chase. Not speculating, just a scenario.

  • Pansies

    Waaa the police have to road shut down. Waaaa they could do this differently. Waaaaa they are abusing power. Waaaaa Waaa Waaa. If you were in this accident you would feel differently. Do you think the police want to deal with the head ache of traffic??? Of course not, there is obviously a reason they have things shut down. Heaven forbid police or fire do their job correctly and unfortunately have to deal with the CRYING of scumbags like you. But hey, the officer got into an accident on purpose just to make YOUR life hell. You stupid son of a ……………………………..


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