SUV Overturns in Tara-Leeway Heights Crash

by ARLnow.com September 10, 2012 at 9:35 am 6,358 60 Comments

A two-vehicle accident resulted in an SUV flipping on its side at the intersection of 15th Street and N. Greenbrier Street this morning in the Tara-Leeway Heights neighborhood, near Virginia Hospital Center.

The accident happened around 8:15 a.m. and involved a Toyota Camry and a Toyota RAV4 SUV. It appears that the Camry somehow broadsided the RAV4, causing it to flip on its side. The intersection is a two-way stop, with the stop signs in place for traffic on 15th Street.

The driver of the RAV4 was trapped in the vehicle after the accident and had to be extricated by the fire department. The driver was then transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

A neighbor tells ARLnow.com that there are “a ton” of accidents at the intersection due to drivers rolling through the stop signs on 15th Street.



  • Regis

    People cutting through around there because Washington Blvd gets backed between Glebe and Patrick Henry.

  • John Fontain

    This wouldn’t have happened if the darn school system hadn’t changed the busing procedures. They must be held liable!

    • B Div

      Helpful as usual.

  • Leeway Heights

    Tara-Leeway Heights? That’s a neighborhood in Arlington? Huh….

    • Yummm

      They also make Ho-Ho’s and Ding-Dongs.

  • Kim Arl Un

    Arlington County does not “believe” in 4-way stop intersections.

    • Ugh

      I know!!! There’s an intersection near me that’s blind and only a 2-way stop. Coming from one direction is a downhill so cars fly, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost been hit in my car or on foot.

      Who do you contact in the ArlCoGov to fix this??

      • CW

        The worst for me is Key Blvd through Lyon Village. 2-way stops, hills, and traffic circles full of foliage that makes you guess what’s behind it. Everyone is jogging in the street, there’s two-sided parking everywhere, lots of cyclists (myself included), and the drivers are blowing stop signs left and right. Going to be scary once it starts staying dark late in the mornings.

        • SouthernPrincess

          Totally agree! Our running group runs single file down the hill because there isn’t a sidewalk, and a lot of times drivers won’t wait at the stop sign as they are supposed to do. It gets scary, an accident waiting to happen in some form or another.

          • CW

            What block has no sidewalk? I understand the factors that drive people to run in the street – those sidewalks are way too narrow and 99% of the time are clogged with strollers and pets – but I can’t think of a block that lacks them altogether.

          • HollaArl

            My stretch of 26th N. has zero sidewalks. Must walk in the street and pray the fools going 40mph down it to avoid Lee Hwy don’t leave you with a permanent head bruise.

          • CW

            Oh, side streets, absolutely. The alternate back and forth on all those side streets, appearing and disappearing for no reason. I was inquiring specifically about Key though.

        • B Div

          The problem is that they aren’t using the roundabouts correctly; they should have Stop signs at all – if two vehicles arrive at the same time, the vehicle on the right should always have the right of way.

          • B Div

            Typo — “shouldn’t”

          • John Fontain

            Helpful as usual.

          • B Div


          • Josh S

            There actually is a qualitative difference between your comment and B Div’s. But nevermind…..

          • CW

            The thing is that they’re not purpose-built roundabouts. Key Boulevard is a through street with the side streets having two-way stops. I don’t know the history but at some point they threw those “roundabouts” in there as traffic calming just by the logic of, cars have to turn a bit, they’ll slow down. Well, all it did was make more of a visual obstruction than a physical one, so you have cars still speeding on Key, now they’re just blind.

          • B Div

            You’re right. They’re neither one thing nor the other, and cause trouble because of it.

          • Chris B

            I feel a lot safer on the road bicycling on Key Boulevard than on Wilson or Clarendon.

            Those ’roundabouts’ may not be great but they do a decent job of slowing traffic down.

          • CW

            It depends. I usually do stick to Key just because of the lower volume of traffic. But I also do sometimes wonder – Wilson/Clarendon have lots of known evils, whereas on Key it just takes one time of someone rolling through a blind intersection to ruin your dat.

          • Biker

            I actually don’t mind Wilson/Clarendon in the bike lanes as long as you watch out for the Troublesome Trio: 1) doors 2) Retards pulling out without looking 3) @$$holes who run in the bike lanes and don’t yeild

            I find the side streets more dangerous due to the speeding and joggers in the streets. Hard to dodge a person who should be on the sidewalk without hitting a car…

          • Josh S

            I got rid of my dats a long time ago – it’s hell being the only one still using outdated media…..

          • drax

            Come on, let’s not use “retard” people.

          • SomeGuy

            The round-abouts I can live with. I take issue with the plants/trees in the middle of them that visually obstruct a driver from seeing what’s on the other side of them.

          • CW

            Oh absolutely. I agree 100%. I don’t take issue with the circles, only that they are filled with plants that make it complete guesswork as to what is on the other 3 roads.

          • SomeGuy

            Yeah. Westbound on Key, there’s at least one round-about that has a crosswalk hidden behind it. So the pedestrian might think he’s safe and has the right of way (he does), but the car hardly knows it’s a pedestrian crossing, let alone if there’s someone in it, until the two are within a few yards of each other.

      • drax

        It’s not who you contact, it’s how many times you do it before they drop their silly, unjustified objection to 4-way stops.

        • Ugh

          I’ve emailed countless times over the past year. Never even hear back. There’s no number/email for anyone even remotely close to this on the webpage so I feel like I’m shooting into the dark

          • nom de guerre

            Wayne Wentz 703-228-3720
            [email protected]

          • Ugh

            What dept is he?

          • nom de guerre

            Chief, Transportation Engineering and Operations Bureau-Department of Environmental Services

      • Lynne Lilly

        You can contact the Spec Opns Section of the Arl Cnty Police @ 703-228-4141.

      • Amen

        Also, N. 16th at Patrick Henry in Westover, right behind the apartments. Stopsigns for drivers on PH but not for those on 16th. And damn near impossible to see if someone is coming from 16th. Why, County, Why?

        (Seriously, WTF is the reasoning behind this senseless aversion to 4-way stops?)

        • Regis

          They put the speed bumps on 16th to make that safer, but I tend to agree here. Heading south on Patrick Henry, that has always been a “take a last look to the right and gun it” to get all the way across.

    • Juanita de Talmas

      There’s a four-way stop at Rhodes & 14th so I guess Arlington “believes” in them sometimes.

      • Biker

        People would die at that intersection if it weren’t for those, thats a huge hill. I still people blow through it though..

      • Chief

        The County doesn’t use stop signs for traffic-calming. It uses them to assign rights-of-way. Sometimes, a four-way stop sign is necessary for that purpose, but not often.

      • Lynne Lilly

        We have a 4-way stop now at 16th St. & Harrison.

        • Amen

          You do indeed. And it took, like, 10 years to get it, even though it was a blind crossing if you were on Harrison.

  • JamesE

    Toyota on Toyota hate crime, so sad.

  • 4WayStops

    I wish they would get rid of the 2 way stops in that area. I’ve almost been hit several times at Patrick Henry and 16th (the worst!) and just around the corner at Lexington & 18th.

  • GodFila

    Did they get a description of the hit and run bicycle?

  • OldYeller

    Assuming the RAV4 hasn’t been moved since the accident, I can’t for the life of me figure out the dynamics it. Such an odd place for the RAV to end up.

    • CW

      The rollover was may not have been due to the impact itself, but rather due to a reactive overcorrection by the driver in the direction opposing the impact. It is very hard to tell all the locations from the pictures. But that would explain why the SUV is on the “wrong” side.

    • ballsteve

      Looking at picture 3, my guess is the SUV was going from the right side toward the left, and the Camry rolled through the stop sign and hit it. If the SUV swerved a little to the right to try to avoid the wreck, and the Camry hit the back end of the diver side, it would probably explain why it flipped and ended up there.

      ….but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  • HenryBennetXIII

    Commuters in cars are like water leaking in your house.
    They are there and have to he dealt with.
    You block one way they go another. You stop it here they’ll go there.
    Like water they will get thru and it may take longer but it will be a mess until you fix the problem.
    Not everyone lives in an urban village w transit. Not everyone works at a metro accessible job.
    Commuting exists. In cars too. You can’t stop it but you can plan for it.
    This accident happened because of our transportation policy in Arlington.

    • Amen

      To quote a certain band from the ’80s:

      Stop making sense!

      • Id

        Talking Heads

        • Very Punny

          Or in the case of the county board, “Heads Talking”

  • Tabs

    I know I’m OCD like Steve and smoking on the issue of SUVs, but here goes…

    People should be required to get a special license to drive the dang things!

    • Quoth the Raven

      But it appears from the article that the car, not the SUV, was at fault.

      • Tabby_TwoTone

        Details, details.

  • Chief

    I live very near the intersection where this happened. Although I can only recall one actual accident occurring there previously, I’ve seen a number of near accidents. More troubling, on an almost daily basis I see cars running the stop signs on 15th St., often without even slowing down. Usually nothing happens, but the risks of an accident seem high.

    That said, making it a four-way stop might keep people from using Greenbrier as cut-through from the hospital to the Washington Blvd, but it wouldn’t do anything about the people that blow through the stop signs on 15th St., which is by far the bigger danger. I don’t how you get people to follow basic traffic laws without more enforcement. More signs won’t help.

    • Homer

      A speed bump at the stop sign might help.

  • JnA

    Police are not in the neighborhoods enforcing traffic ordinances. They are responding to ‘suspicious person’ complaints, Many involving service workers lost driving around neighborhoods trying to find an address.

    Could be worse, at least the stop signs at the intersection are not covered by foliage.

  • DCBuff

    MD plates???

  • Larchmont

    The cause of this accident was the Rav 4 NOT stopping at the stop sign. Not slowing down, not looking, not caring about anyone else but themselves. Luckily the 17 year old girl that inadvertantly hit her is not physically injured. Of course, she’s a little shaken up over the accident and the fact that the other car flipped on its side. Now there will be a cop occasionally sitting in the area monitoring the intersection for a while. Thanks Rav 4 driver, they have nothing better to do anyway.

    For all you “crash investigators from a picture”…Rav 4 heading east on 15th. Camry heading north on Greenbrier. Camry clipped the rear of the Rav 4 spinning and flipping it.

    As for the 4 way stop on 16th & Harrison, it didn’t take “like, 10 years to get it”, just enough accidents, and the idea brought to the county’s attention by the neighbors. And if you stop properly at the Harrison stop signs you can see all traffic in both directions – before and after the 4 way stop was installed. The problem was people were not stopping, or they thought 16th had stop signs.

    Do we need a 4 way stop on 15th & Greenbrier? Sure, slow everyone down on the side streets as I play on them with my kids regularly. Do I want a stop sign there? No, just stop at the fhcking ones we already have! And drive 25!!!

    • Quoth the Raven

      Sorry, Tabs – looks lke you nailed it after all!

  • Karen

    This is just 2 blocks away from me, between home and work! I must have just left home yesterday morning when it happened. Good thing I don’t go that way to work.


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