Car Slams Into Baskin-Robbins in Yorktown

by ARLnow.com April 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm 10,365 63 Comments

A car came crashing into the Baskin-Robbins ice cream store at 2511 N. Harrison Street in the Yorktown neighborhood this afternoon.

Just after 12:00 p.m. an elderly male driver in a Toyota Camry drove into the store’s entrance after accidentally pressing the gas instead of the brake, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Two people were inside the vehicle at the time. No word on whether anybody was inside the store.

Damage to the store is estimated at $20,000, but a building inspector determined that there was no structural damage to the building.

No injuries were reported and no charges have been filed against the driver.

Courtesy photo

  • Sarah

    Well, at least this make the LivingSocial snafu at Larry’s look good in comparison. (Although I am not sure I want LivingSocial to look good, the weasels.)

    • Rankin

      What was the Living Social snafu?

      • Sarah

        Coupons that said they expired on April 21 were declared (by LS) to be expired at 9 pm on the 20th.

        • From the only GOP in Arlington

          I was infuriated at Larry’s — called Amazon Local (where I bought the Living Social voucher) and have already rec’d credit on my account. Obviously, Larry’s was NOT prepared to deal with the last minute customers and chose to not honor the coupons. We were there Friday — why didn’t they tell us then? Yet another reason to take my business elsewhere.

          • Sarah

            It wasn’t Larry’s decision — when I was in Friday, the owner told me to come back tomorrow to get pints and use up my coupons. And he was very clear with another customer that Saturday was the last day.

          • Ty

            I inquired with the BBB, it was Living Social’s mistake, I found out first hand. Larry’s is not at fault here as I wanted to know the truth.

    • BreakPause02

      Had an issue as well. Wife bought the deal. There was no expiration listed on the little “business card” coupon. Store would not honor it.

  • Really

    Woo hoo! I had elderly driver pedal mix-up!!! First I went with teen texting, but switched at the last minute.

  • Loocy

    We were just there, saw it closed and boarded up, and wondered what had happened. Thanks for the photo, I hope no one was hurt.

    • drax

      Drove by it and the first thing I thought was “we’ll find out the details on ArlNow.” Glad we have this great news source for small, local stories.

  • HughJassPhD

    I thought for sure they had a drive through.

    • I scream

      They do now!

  • South Arlington

    Seriously, can we start forcing the elderly over 65 to take yearly driving tests? They are a menace to everyone’s safety and often, selfishly, keep on driving even after their vision, reflexes and driving skills have deteriorated to the point that they are a danger to themselves and others.

    • Tabs

      I agree. And I will hold myself to that. I hope.

      My mom was always a kick-ass skilled driver with awesome reflexes that saved our lives (dad’s driving I’ve never been a fan of).

      But in recent years, oh dear. Scared, not processing the fast pace, getting overly upset about lane changes.

      Getting old sucks.

      • Elmer

        Hum. “Scared. Not processing the fast pace.”
        Like the maniacs going 75/80 mph on the 55 mph portions of I-66 or worse the drivers blowing through the 25 mph school speed zones wihout even tapping the brakes to slow down.
        Like your Mom, I don’t “process” that either.
        BTW, I drive in the right hand lane at the speed limit. You know, that’s the lane the ones who “process” call the “slow lane”.

    • Blue Loom

      You’ll change your tune when you get there. 65 is the new 40. 85 is the new 65. Americans are living longer and generally healthier lives. We’ve already programmed these phenomena into Social Security, where the age for eligibility is gradually rising. Don’t generalize from one accident (the kind of thing that can happen to any driver at any age) to condemn a whole cohort of people.

      • Ren

        You mean like teenagers and their driving privileges? Apples…to apples

        • Basil


      • Josh S

        Since when is the age of eligibility for SS rising?

    • wickedrr

      I completely agree with south arlington, you don’t see those below 70 mistaking the gas for the brake! And so tired of being behind the grandmother who can barley see over the hood of the car, doing 25 in a 45! Mandatory drivers test every year over the age of 70!

      • Phil fortner

        If we continue to let young people talking on their phones drive without intelligence testing the elderly should be allowed to drive untested too. I am certain you have never made a mistake in the car.

      • ramen

        Pretty sure the girl who drove into the Chinese carry-out in Westover was below 70.

    • drax

      Yet drivers in their teens and early 20s, mile-per-mile, are much more accident-prone.

      • Josh S


    • Michael H.

      All the drivers I see running red lights and Stop signs appear to be much younger than 65. Same with all of the people who are speeding on local roads or trying to bump pedestrians out of crosswalks (when the pedestrians have a WALK signal and get to the crosswalk well before the driver does).

      Perhaps the elderly have slower reflexes but most of the dangerous behavior I see is related to aggressive or negligent driving (texting, looking at paper maps or eating food while driving and not looking at the road).

  • Sikudhani

    If this person knew how to drive stick, Arlington would have 31 more flavors of ice cream to choose from.

  • novasteve
  • sunflower

    growing old is inevitable; growing up is optional–right southarl??

  • Arlingtoon

    A plate glass sundae would certain hit the spot right about now.

  • Arlingtoon

    A plate glass sundae would certainly hit the spot right about now.

  • NrNy2ArlVa

    Saw Jay Leno driving through a Burger King and he is only 61.

  • NorthArlMom

    I agree that older drivers need to be monitored. What I see most often is families that take the car keys away and forget that their parents/grandparents/etc still need to get places. The ‘able’ drivers don’t want to be bothered with running those errands or giving those rides. I saw it happen in my family. And I once knew of a friend’s father that was so fed up, he took a cab to buy a new car even though his family had taken his away. Everyone, young and old, needs to do their part in driving safer. Nothing is that important.

  • drax

    Isn’t it nice that Arlington has so many transportation options so the elderly don’t have to depend on driving? Go smart growth, new urbanist Arlington!

    • You Got To Kidding

      So do you send your cheerleaders outfit to the dry cleaners or do you launder it at home ??

      • drax

        That’s a silly question – I never take it off. I shower in it.

        It sucks when someone says something positive, doesn’t it? You just hate that.

        • Josh S

          It’s conformist behavior on the Internets – denigrating the positive.

  • Ashton Heights

    Most of the really bad drivers I notice are young people – 20s? – and the worst seem to be young women. Speeding, running red lights, not stopping for pedestrians, etc etc. I recommend all drivers under 40 have monthly tests.

  • Tom Lang

    I live on Harrison St. near Yorktown

    1. My car was totaled parked at the curb. (Young Iraqi War Veteran)
    2. A kid was hit walking his bike across Harrison in the crosswalk. Dad crossed first. (Don’t know who dun it)
    3. Neighbors across the street had a car run through their front yard and into their house (Older Drunk Women)
    4. Neighbors two doors up had their car totaled at the curb (Two ladies(?) in an SUV out for the night)
    5. Northbound car crossed centerline into the front yard of my next door neighbor and hit a tree next to my driveway near the house (An employee of Dominion Electric on meds)
    6. Car ended up in neighbor’s yard at 27th and Harrison after school let out while making a right hand turn from a dead stop on 27th (Young high school girl)

    You figure it out.

    • Elmer

      Tom, I feel your pain and while it’s of little solace to you, my figuring would be to move elsewhere.

      • Tom Lang


        It is what it is.

    • geri

      For over 35 years we have asked: Why is there no traffic light at 26th (or 27th) and Harrison? When Yorktown lets out on Friday and the Williamsburg kids are walking around and the parents are leading all their kids to the playground and everyone is going to Harris Teeter, it is INSANE. I have noticed a police presence, but not certain it is for traffic. Face it, Garden City has changed. That is fine with me (Although I miss Dart Drugs). But I know one day I will die on Harrison Street.

      • Tom Lang

        From what I understand, Harrison St. is classified as a minor arterial. There is great pushback from the “first responders” against four way stops or speed bumps as it would jeopardize response times. As if traffic control or traffic volume on Lee Hwy is no impediment to them. Heck, everyone speeds on Harrison north of the Safeway, cops, fire trucks, semis, commuters from Mclean using Old Dominion. It’s the fastest way to cut through to Lee and on to I-66 or Falls Church. The only way this problem will get any attention is to incur a fatality. You volunteering?

      • PL25rd

        I’ve asked that question many times myself. 26th St. and Harrison is a very, very dangerous intersection – both for drivers and pedestrians. I’d completely support a stoplight there.

        • Josh S

          The problem is that there is probably a minimum threshold of traffic that must be met before a traffic light is placed. This intersection, despite being very busy sometimes, probably doesn’t cross that minimum threshold since there are plenty of times when it is not that busy. And given the fact that Arlington does not seem to like putting in traffic lights controlled by the presence of cars, we’d find ourselves stopping for no good reason far too often.

    • ArlingtonWay

      Well, not to excuse it, but that is a curvy street there.

  • Phil fortner

    The crosswalks on Harrison are dangerous. People using them seem to think they provide a force field. Several times people have just walked out in front of me. Yes you need to stop for pedestrians but I always go the limit and I have had to slam on my breaks for people who have started out when my car was too close. Had a caregiver push a small child out from behind a car when you couldn’t have seen them at all.

    I have started going to Safeway at Chesterbrook because the parking at lee Harrison is ridiculous and the street is just plain dangerous.

    • Tom Lang


      The (speed) “limit” on the Harrison St. Speedway is whatever you feel like. Property damage is OK. Just don’t hit anyone, that could really cost you.

  • Mongo

    Sometimes a bro just wants some froyo FRED TERP

  • ArlingtonNative

    This reminds me of the time when an elderly woman drove through the front of Cowboy South. I’m sure that would have made Arlnow.com!

  • WeiQiang

    Anyone needing a statistically-relevant sample of elder driving habits need only sit outside the Aurora Hills Community Center at 18th So. & So. Hayes before and after senior citizens event. I absolutely support these sort of events to keep our seniors vital and active, but driving skills on display are scary.

  • cranky crankypants

    for those of you who want testing, are you willing to either pay for more staff at the DMV to handle the additional workload, or are you willing to tolerate longer wait times? And really, the dirty little secret of driver licensing is that additional testing at whatever age doesn’t result in a safer community.

    • Josh S

      Yeah, judging by how many immigrants are driving around Arlington with little to no understanding of actually how traffic is supposed to work, I’d say testing standards are remarkably low. Although I’d probably be more likely to blame the driving schools rather than the DMV testers.
      Just one simple rule – if your movements will make someone else have to put on their brakes (except obviously stopping at stop signs, etc.), then you’re doing something wrong.

    • dk

      Of course not. More government, lower taxes, isn’t that the American way?

  • Westover2

    Didn’t realize Baskin Robbins was so dangerous to my health… I guess Toby’s Ice Cream it is! They have better ice cream anyway, its homemade!

    • ArlingtonWay

      I like the feel of Toby’s too, and am a regular customer, but I am pretty sure if ANY of Toby’s ice cream is home made, it is a very small fraction. Like one or two flavors. Not at all superior to the BR. The rest? Store bought. Just look at the containers. I am also a little down on Toby’s freezer. Not cold enough a lot of times to keep the product hard. He should get off is wallet and buy some freon.

  • Hilts

    I arranged this accident so nobody would notice I left the freezers open overnight.

  • chris

    Lee_Harrison Shopping Center is a bitch to park. The spaces are too narrow.

  • GreaterClarendon

    Wife and kids were eating at Pie-Tanza when that happened, and we often head to Baskin Robbins for desert afterwards and sit at that window table. We hadn’t yet decided if we were going to go for desert this time – but WOW, certainly makes you think what a difference a few minutes makes in your life.

    • sunflower

      like my husband couldn’t get a seat on the air florida plane back in the day

  • Mary Queen of Scots

    I’d like a Rocky Road sundae please.


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