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Virginia State Police Officer Struck by SUV on the Pike

by ARLnow.com September 16, 2011 at 8:49 am 5,129 30 Comments

(Updated at 9:35 a.m.) A Virginia State Police motorcycle officer was struck by an SUV this morning on the ramp from eastbound Columbia Pike to Washington Boulevard.

The extent of the officer’s injuries are unknown at this time, but initial reports suggested he was conscious and alert after the accident. The officer was quickly loaded onto an ambulance and taken to the hospital.

Police shut down Columbia Pike at the accident scene, diverting traffic onto other roads. All lanes were opened back up at 9:10 a.m., about a half hour after the accident, but not before heavy delays formed on eastbound Columbia Pike. Some ART bus routes were also delayed as a result of the accident.

  • shirley

    Columbia Pike access to Washington Blvd should be permanently CLOSED.
    I drive that way almost daily and there isn’t a SINGLE PERSON on Columbia Pike who knows how to drive and merge onto Washington Blvd.
    I’m so sorry for the officer. He probably assumed normal vehicle operation from someone and got a lunatic Columbia Pike driver who ignores red lights, lane markings and merge signs.

    • Richard Cranium

      There, there. Everything will be all right.

      • shirley

        i hope. i get nervous everytime i go there. whether headed to 395 north, or 395 south or Arlinton Ridge. or when I have to Columbia Pike to the Navy Annex./
        the people coming up of COlumbia PIke are driving nuts.
        it is the only reason a trolley makes sense — slow down the road.

  • G Clifford Prout

    That’s Arl. Co. PD’s speed trap.

  • Stoneridge

    Probably there to deal with the extra traffic diverted from Rte. 50.
    I hope he/she is okay.

  • YTK

    Hope the officer is OK!! That interchange is dangerous in the morning becuz SO many drivers on the far right (northbound) lane (right turn only until 9:30 am) make the mistake of going straight (IGNORING THE SIGNS) — while drivers in the left lane, who CAN turn right (until 9:30 am), do so.

    • Arlington

      They really need to improve the signage for that rule. Those small white signs above the road don’t really cut it

      • matt

        There are 6 signs for that intersection….2 above the road and 4the on posts on the right side of the road prior to the intersection saying the same thing….I know bc I counted them after getting a ticket for being oblivious…you can’t always blame signage when human stupidity reigns supreme.

        • Haus

          I received a ticket for the same offense! I hate that intersection – the cops sit under the Washington blvd bridge waiting for first timers to go straight or change lanes and promptly give them a ticket.

  • YTK

    Anyone remember when Columbia Pike from Walter Reed to Wash Blvd during Rush Hour am — used to be 3 lanes Northbound and One lane Westbound (reversed in the evening rush)? Wow — how many times did we see near-head-on misses!!!???

    • Bluemontsince1961

      I remember it, YTK. Back in the early 1970s, it was the same way on Wilson Blvd from Rosslyn to Bon Air Park. During rush hour, three lanes east/one lane west in the morning and three lanes west/one lane east in the afternoon/evening. There were quite a few head-on near misses and some head on accidents when the overhead lane light arrows and x’s didn’t get switched on or off at the right time.

      • Lou

        Also Washington Blvd around Clarendon circle.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          Yep. They still have those overheads on Washington Blvd around Clarendon Circle, identical to the ones from the early 70s on Wilson from Rosslyn to Bon Air Park. They confused the heck out of everyone for a while when they were installed; made for “interesting” rush hour driving.

        • Dave

          Those ones near Clarendon circle are worthless if the sun is out. I just stay in the right lane because it’s nearly impossible to see if it’s green or red over the center lane.

          • BlueLoom

            +1. The sun blots those puppies out no matter what time of day. Tough to know where to be if you want to turn left onto Clarendon from Washington.

  • JimPB

    About what time was the officer struck?

  • John Stephens

    @ARLNOW, what’s with the blurred out face in the third photo?

    • drax

      Looks like a witness.

    • That may have been the striking driver, according to a witness.

      • Tabby

        What does the tall cop have on his head? It looks like something a capuchin monkey would wear.

        • Josh S

          Capuchin monkeys have designated clothes?

  • Anonymous

    Actually the officer changed lanes into the SUV. From what I saw it appeared that the officer hit the rear passenger side panel of the SUV. You can see the mark if you look close. This happened after both the SUV and the officer had made the right onto Wash Blvd. I don’t disagree that this is a dangerous intersection but folks are jumping to conclusions assuming the SUV was driving erratically or that the officers was taking part in traffic enforcement/calming. Moreover, the article title is deceptive as the officer was not “struck” by the SUV. I do hope the officer has a speedy recovery.

    • JimPB

      Hope you provide your report to the accident investigators.

      • Chris

        I have to say (while hoping the officer is all right) that I see a truly stunning amount of bad driving on the part of the police. One would think the police would be extra-vigilant in obeying traffic laws, but apparently not. I almost got hit by an officer making a right on red – he didn’t bother to stop (or even slow down) and he didn’t have his lights/siren on. He was just being careless. And he gave me a dirty look as if it’s my fault that he can’t drive.

      • anon

        Not that it would matter, of course. You don’t get hit by a cop. You ALWAYS hit the cop, even if you struck the cops knuckles with your jaw.

  • MB

    This is one of the worst merging areas I’ve seen, and I live a block from this intersection and have to drive through it daily. There were 60 accidents reported in that intersection alone in 2010, yet VDOT leaves it as-is.

    There have been numerous times I’ve been in the left lane during the morning rush, gone straight, tried to merge to the right lane to access the Washington Blvd. ramp only to see someone flying straight through in the right lane. Likewise, I always fear an accident when I’m in the left lane turning right to go towards 395 and someone goes straight in the right lane. And we won’t even talk about the merge to get to 395 after that. That entire intersection is an accident trap.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      The merge from the left from North 10th St onto 50 East is just about as bad, but the Pike/Wash Blvd/395 merge is the worst in Arlington.

      • AB

        Totally agree!!

  • MC

    Another example of an SUV out of control.

  • D W

    Which direction of Washington Blvd? The ramps from CP onto either direction of WB are both excessively dangerous.


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