BREAKING NEWS — Major Accident on Washington Blvd in Ballston

by Katie Pyzyk June 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm 18,496 108 Comments

Update on 6/21/12 at 11:35 a.m. — Police report the driver of the SUV has been charged with reckless driving. They have also updated the number of vehicles involved to be 10. In addition to the woman who was trapped in her car, one other driver and one other passenger were also transported to Inova Fairfax hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

(Updated at 7:25 p.m.) A driver may be charged after a serious accident Wednesday evening on Washington Boulevard in Ballston.

Around 6:00 p.m. police received the call of an accident with injuries on Washington Boulevard between Glebe Road and Vernon Street. Nine vehicles were involved in the crash.

During their investigation, police say they discovered that the driver of an SUV was spotted driving recklessly. As he approached the red light, he allegedly made no effort to stop and rear-ended the driver of a convertible. The SUV ended up on top of the convertible, and the woman inside became trapped. The woman was extricated and transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police are still speaking with the driver of the SUV. It’s likely that he will be charged with reckless driving, we’re told.

As of 7:25 p.m., traffic was getting by slowly on Glebe Road, but Washington Blvd was still shut down through Stafford Street.

  • tool

    Vehicle in the air is from Pennsylvania. They must be moving to Maryland.

    • Late

      tool: amen!

    • TryTheTacos

      Well, they will certainly fit right in. They can just take these photos down to any MD DMV and apply for a drivers’ license. (seriously though hope folks are ok)

    • MyHood

      How can you tell its PA plates? I ask because there’s a guy with a car just like this one, with PA plates who rents a room from our neighbors during the work week. I guess he goes home to PA on the weekends. Wonder if its him?

      • spookiness

        Stickers on the windshield.

        • MyHood

          Got it. Thanks. Still wondering if its him. I didn’t see his car on the street this morning.

    • E

      The plates were actually Indiana

  • Elmer

    OMG. The injured have my prayers.
    Why would any sane person be going as fast in that area as it appears the driver was from the photos?

    • Bender

      Why would he be going 15-25 mph, which is all it would take for a high-riding vehicle to ride up a low-riding vehicle, in that area?? And given the heavy traffic, which is probably the most that he would be able to go.

      If he were going any faster, there would be a lot more destruction.

      From the looks of it, he probably was going the same speed as the cars around him, but simply wasn’t paying attention to the light having changed. Happens quite frequently. I once had a pick-up truck plow into me because he did see the red light until it was too late.

      • Nervous

        I was at the front of that light in front of him …. All the cars
        Had been stopped for sometime and the light was
        Red. And he was doing more than 25. And we were
        Facing west and he was turned around facing east…
        You do the math. If its not a result of a medical condition
        Ie heart attack or seizure… He deserves to be put in jail.

        • Bender

          People are notoriously bad at being radar speed guns. To a stationary person, 25 mph can look a lot faster than it is.

          • Beth

            I saw the guy because I was in one of road about to turn onto Washington BLVD he was at least going 45MPH he hit 2 Cars before flipping. And everyone was at a complete stop

          • Nervous

            Thank you Beth. I was in the left turn lane turning
            On to glebe. Had someone been behind us
            They would have been pushed into us. Possibly
            The worst feeling ever to hear that noise behind you.
            I am glad to see how many people got our to help.
            Although it took a few seconds before people got
            Out since it was a chain reaction. I attempted to direct traffic as best I could. It amazed me that some people were not slowing down. One hummer was turning on to washing ton from glebe
            Given his speed he must have bee running a yellow light. Well he
            Almost cleaned my car and all the ones he saw stopped
            In front of him!!! I hope people slow Down more.

          • Elmer

            Yes, 100% correct. “Slow down”.
            Amen, Amen.

          • brian

            for some unknown person directing traffic? he probably thought, ‘why is this person waving their arms in the middle of traffic, the lights are working just fine, therefore this is a crazy person, get out of my way’

          • drax

            Yes, brian, and he shouldn’t think that. Duh.

          • daniel

            @brian, is a shame but people do think that way, about those trying to help.

          • j

            stop already

      • South Awwlington

        I takes a lot more than 25 MPH to monster truck another car, no matter how high or low riding.

      • Westover

        Just yesterday morning I was noting how short the yellow is at that intersection.

  • EatingTacosTonight

    WOW! That is some scene! Thank goodness no deaths reported!

  • JamesE

    Weeee that was a fun detour

  • Vii

    This looks alot worse in person…. Thankfully most are not facing life-threatening injuries

  • Justin Case

    It’s a good thing they’re all rich…

    • Marco

      A very relevant attribute, Justin. Thanks for your deeply contemplated, highly intellectual contribution to this discussion. Where would we be without rubes like you?

      • Justin Case

        Probably back at home pretentiously sipping on cognac, trying not to spill it on your cashmere sweater.

        • Huh?


        • Don’t be ridiculous

          it’s far too hot for cashmere!

  • really

    He hates Silver Acuras. The other 6 cars are collateral damage.

  • nom de guerre

    I would bet that every vehicle involved in this accident had an automatic transmission.

    • JamesE

      I drove by the accident in a manual

  • Safe and sound

    We were at the intersection when this happened and I have no idea what this guy was doing. Traffic had been stopped at the intersection for awhile and we never heard anyone breaking.

    • nom de guerre


      • Tabs


        • nom de guerre

          Break wind

        • DarkHeart

          Electric Boogaloo

        • DOD


    • brian

      how or why would you hear any braking?

      i never hear any braking.

  • Just Me

    I bet the guys insurance company will be really happy tomorrow when 8 people call them and one from the hospital. The person taken to Fairfax must have been hurt badly because Arlington Hospital is just a half mile away.

    • Dave

      I asked my wife (who’s a former medic from Prince William County) about this. She said it’s standard procedure for victims who are trapped in their cars like this woman was since Fairfax is a trauma center while VA Hospital Center is not.

  • ColFor

    Classic move deleting people’s posts just because they come down on the jerks in here who make highly innapropriate comments to very serious stories….sure, leave up the ridiculous posts…SMH

    • AllenB

      Sadly, that’s how things go on this site. The mod here has it totally backwards.

      • drax

        Agree. Even if you spell it out plainly and don’t use satire you get modded sometimes.

  • Me ke

    @colfor….amen buddy…this is about an accident and you have folks making humorous commentary….woo hooo..huge level of maturity….must be the brown flip flop syndrome

  • bob

    Texting while driving is bad.

  • A S

    I drove right by this within 45 minute of it happening. Serious adrenaline rush just when I saw what had happened. Hope everyone is okay!

    • Nervous

      Serious adrenaline rush to hear it happen look in
      You rear view mirror an swatch it happen!
      I was just in a accident two weeks ago.. Car is
      Totaled now this which happens right behind my car!!!

      Very scarey…. I hope everyone will be alright.

      • Neutrino

        Cars are inherently dangerous. To use them daily is unwise.

  • Bike Commuter

    Wow. Hope everyone recovers quickly. How did a person on a bike cause all of this? This was clearly caused by a biker, according to the ArlNow bike haters, right? Good thing cars never cause accidents, or this could have been a lot worse.

    Oh wait, this was. Maybe this is why you should stop hating bikers, and realize there are bad/distracted/drunk/stupid people operating every type of vehicle. But that doesn’t make everyone else who operates the same thing bad/distracted/drunk/stupid.

    • Cletus Van Damme

      My guess is that one of the nine silver Acura’s didn’t hear him say, “on your left.”

    • Arlingtonian

      As soon as there’s a story about an accident involving a bike, some people here seem to forget about all the car accidents and incidents of reckless/dangerous driving that happen every day. There are still far more people that are killed, maimed and injured by dangerous drivers than by cyclists.

      Not to excuse any group of people but yeah, some people go a bit off the wall when there’s a bike involved. It’s as though some think there’s a free pass for reckless driving just because it involves a car.

      • brian

        convertibles fault.. why would someone have the top down on a 97F degree day.

      • Harkin

        Car accidents are a given – people get riled up when bikes add on to the car accidents that people already know happen day in and day out. Thanks for taking the time for that revalatory PSA though.

        • Joan Fountain

          What a silly viewpoint.

    • Lou

      Stop your whining.

  • Mayor of Arlington

    I was the first to arrive on and last to leave the scene. I’m glad I could help resolve the situation.

    • Nervous

      Thank you. I moved my car up in hopes to slow people down and tried to
      Slow traffic coming the other way until the cops came.
      I was stopped at the light. We all thank you !

  • Dank

    As I approached the intersection, a stop sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before.

  • South Awwlington

    I can see how three vehicles were involved, but NINE? Anyone care to elaborate. Hope everyone is ok and that SUV Dude is remanded to Drivers Ed.

    • AVA resident

      arlnow did not do a good job with the photos. I live in apartment complex at the intersection and I counted 10 stopped vehicles at 7 PM, 9 with visible damage. There must have been about 8 vehicles waiting at the light when the SUV hit the back. The chain reaction did major bumper-hood damage to BOTH lanes of waiting vehicles. The SUV must have been going very fast to get enough impact to damage so many cars waiting at the light, presumably with their brakes on.

  • Bill

    When your police dept becomes known for doing “easy” speed traps (George Mason South, or 110 on a Sunday morning), and doesn’t do traffic enforcement even when people pull stunts in front of them, then this is what happens.

    • CrystalMikey

      Really, I doubt even a cruiser sitting right there at the intersection could prevent an accident where someone wasn’t paying attention….to anything!

      • Bill

        It’s a perception issue. If they make a show of pulling people over on busy streets during rush hour, everyone else thinks the cops are doing traffic enforcement. They won’t see the cops skip any number of hearings to contest–they’ll just see the people pulled over that day.

        With the perception of enforcement, drivers proceed more carefully.

    • Tabs

      I agree that they rely on “easy”; I notice that during quieter hours of a weekday, if I’m running errands, cops are everywhere and they follow for a while to try to catch you–whereas, they’re largely absent from the roads at rush hour when people are being reckless and dangerous.

      I was pulled over once by a cop who was in civilian clothes and had his badge only partly visible. He was a bully–all sarcastic and trying to get a rise out of me. Tapping his walkytalky repeatedly on his lips. Another cop pulled up behind and read him the riot act for being out of uniform while attempting to police.

    • drax

      Ah, it’s the fault of the police now!

      • tumblebum

        Shocking that it took this long for that accusation to appear.

        • ballsteve

          These of course are the same people that would go ballistic if someone was pulled over for speeding during rush hour, creating a traffic jam.

          • AH


          • Westover

            As long as they are directed to a side street or off the roadway, no one will object. The only object is sticker enforcement, a revenue and not a safety issue, during rush hour.

          • drax


  • Michele

    Did anyone see another accident (maybe? There were police and a fire truck and a stretcher) at Glebe and Wilson around 9:30 last night?

    • Yeah, I saw that. I was on my way back from dinner in Falls Church on Wilson. Lots of accidents yesterday in Arlington–not just these two.

    • MNO

      I was wondering why ARLnow hadn’t reported this one too. I passed by last night just after 9:30 and there were multiple police cars, ambulances, etc. Paramedics were leaning over someone who was laid out in the lefthand turning lane (from glebe onto Wilson heading west) between two smashed cars–one that was obviously going the wrong way. i was looking for news on that accident when I saw this–which happened literally minutes after I passed through before 6pm. it was a bad night on Ballston roads.

    • Weezy

      The comments on ArlNow are just so funny it’s creating an epidemic of distracted driving.

  • EB

    My dad was in the accident, in fact you can see his car in some of the photos. He said they were all stopped at the light, and had been for long enough that there were two cars in front of him, and and at least one behind. All of a sudden, the guy in the SUV came flying into the convertible, and it looks like he clipped a little black car further back first. Looking at the scene (not that I have an expertise in that area), and based on the glass, it appears that he hit the silver acura about 75 yards from where it ended up, and continued on into the convertible. I couldn’t figure out the rest, it seems to defy physics. I will say though, the driver of that convertible was extremely lucky. It appears her seat went back a bit, which may have saved her, as the back tire of the SUV was right above where a head would normally be. I can’t imagine how scary it was to be in the car for 20+ minutes with a car precariously balanced above her head (that’s about how long it took to get her out). Let’s hope this guy has good insurance b/c i counted at least 4 cars that are total losses, plus another 5/6 with damage.

  • arl2012

    Drivers are insane in this area. I had some Yenta in a black SUV blasting her horn at me when I was at a stop sign at Highland and Key where it splits…I was on the right side of the fork so I could go straight onto Franklin Rd. There was a parade of nannies and strollers that were crossing Franklin. The b*tch in the SUV couldn’t see them behind my car and just kept blasting her b*tch-ass horn as if I was just sitting there for no reason. If I didn’t have my own children in my car I seriously would have gotten out of my vehicle and shoved it up her a**. This is 4pm on a school day.

    • John Fontain

      When that happens, the best response is just to sit there for an extra long amount of time.

      • Joan Fountain


    • Justice

      It is a struggle to keep a cool head in this type of situation! It actually helps me remain calm when I have children in the car because I’m in the frame of mind that I’m just going to have to turn the cheek and remain calm no matter how at fault the other person is.

      • singalong time!

        the biotch in the SUV go beep beep beep…

      • South Awwlington

        Makes my blood boil. Kids do help though!

    • Chris L.

      Yeah, I’ve seen that act too. There are some folks in this area with a very grand sense of “entitlement.”

    • Tabs

      Write down the plate # in that case, and call it in.

    • South Awwlington

      Or get out of your car, gently walk up to her window (she’s scared as $hit by now) and ask her what the #$%% is her problem?

      Bet she won’t do that again.

  • YTK

    SUV dude needs to have his license terminated for good.

  • Chris L.

    I live very near the scene. Every witness said the SUV was driving aggressively at a high rate of speed way in excess of the other traffic. Makes one wonder if drugs or alcohol was involved. While we don’t know the ultimate outcome, it would seem to me that some serious charges (more than just reckless driving) are in order.

  • CW

    I would just like to point out that in Virginia, this driver will be charged with the same charge that someone who is caught driving 20 mph over the speed limit can be charged with, which is reckless driving.

    There REALLY needs to be a separate charge for doing this sort of stuff.

    • Westover

      Yes, however the judge wil throw out 99% of reckless tickets that are only based on the the speed, in this case the guy will be facing jail time in a case not likely to be easily dismissed.

      • t

        Have you ever been to court in VA?? If there was ever a place with Kangaroo courts it is here. They will not throw out anything, especially a so called “Reckless Driving” for speed.

        • Westover

          I have had three “Reckless Driving” charges thrown out over the last 20 years. All were automatic due to 20 over or over 80. I have unfortunately spent a lot of time in traffic court in all the corners of the Commonwealth, and not once have a seen a reckless ticket based only on the 20+ or over 80 rule not be dropped by the judge after asking the officer/trooper if there was any other basis for the charge.

          • t

            If they really threw them out completely then you are very lucky. That, and you obviously weren’t in court in Fairfax in the last 10 years. In Fairfax you would be looking at a minimum 30 day suspension unless you had a totally clean driving record, and it sounds like you probably don’t.

            I have had 4 charges under this foolish law. One in Fairfax was 20 years ago and they weren’t as bad about suspension then, but they still wouldn’t write it down. Another in Fairfax 10 years ago and they wouldn’t do anything, until I went to the circuit court where they only lowered the suspension time.

            2 since then were in Price William and Federal Court, both were written down to speeding 20 over (one due to a speedometer calibration), but not thrown out.

            It should probably be clear to you that I know how to handle myself in court.

            They need to fix this law. In MD you don’t even have to go to court for 20 over.

  • Westover

    Let us make one thing perfectly clear, THAT IS A JELLYBEAN SHAPED CROSSOVER, NOT AN SUV!

    • South Awwlington

      Ford Edge. Actually kinda cool wheels.

      • Westover

        Sure, if you are a 22yo chick.

        • South Awwlington

          lol a loaded runs for 38k. How many 22y/o’s you know can afford that?

          We’re not talking a VW here.

          • Westover

            Maybe chicks that want guys to think they are only 22. A real man will not drive one of those unless he is taking it to get new tires for the wife/GF.

          • South Awwlington

            OK, so we can agree on the chick thing, 22, not so much?

          • South Awwlington

            Personally, I cringe when I see that TL totaled. I would have come out with fists and elbows on the Edge driver.

        • South Awwlington
  • MM

    I ended up talking to the driver of the SUV about 2 hours after this happened. I live a block from there and wanted to see it up close. His story was that a car pulled suddenly in front of him, which made him turn quickly, turn and flip, and get on top of that car. Two very different stories.

    • South Awwlington

      lol, meanwhile, back at the ranch, 10 eye witnesses saw him driving like a jerk. Best to just own it rather be known a liar.

    • steve

      Sounds like a maneuver the Mach 5 could do.

    • SD

      otherwise he would have been able to slam on his breaks and come to a screeching stop inches from the line in cars that were stopped before him… I hope he has better reasoning in the court. No, actually I don’t. I hope his license is suspended and he can apprecaite the dangers of traffic as a pedestrian for the next 5 years.

      • Nervous

        Agreed. I was on the front of those cars. God spared me from being Hit and that driver from getting yelled at… There is no way the drivers story is true. Not by the sound I heard and what I saw when I looked back.

  • Troll


  • RL

    I was hit by a black Ford Edge with Pennsylvania plate just a couple weeks ago…wonder if it is the same car…


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