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UPDATED: Police Investigate Critical Pedestrian Accident in Clarendon

by ARLnow.com September 29, 2012 at 2:30 am 30,934 207 Comments

(Updated at 11:35 a.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a serious pedestrian accident on a busy street in the center of Clarendon.

An adult male was struck by a Honda Civic coupe heading eastbound on Clarendon Blvd, near the intersection with N. Highland Street, around 12:30 a.m., according to initial reports. The man suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported via ambulance to George Washington University Hospital.

Police shut down Clarendon Blvd from Washington Blvd to N. Garfield Street while detectives investigated the accident. Crowds of Clarendon bar-goers peered from behind yellow police tape at the bloody evidence marked at the scene, including the victim’s shoes, pants and shirt.

The driver of the Honda, identified by police as 22-year-old Tyler Bruce Wills of Bowie, Md., was arrested on scene and charged with DUI and DUI Maiming. He’s currently being held without bond. Charges against Wills may change depending on the status of the victim, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The victim, a 27-year-old man from Collinsville, Va., has been undergoing surgeries and remains in critical condition, according to Sternbeck. The victim suffered a fractured skull, two broken legs, a broken arm, numerous lacerations to his body, and a big laceration to his face. A friend was with the victim at the time of the accident and was able to notify his family, Sternbeck said.

Unconfirmed witness accounts suggested the victim was crossing just outside the crosswalk and was struck by the car, which was traveling through the intersection at what was described as a relatively high rate of speed. The victim flew through the air and came to rest, motionless, on the pavement, a witness said.

As of 2:15 a.m., a police accident reconstruction team was taking photos and using measurement devices to piece together a more definitive account of how the accident happened.

  • Barcroft

    *12:30 a.m.

  • X


  • bobbytiger

    “Maryland” tags.

    • Just Me

      I noticed that too.

    • JamesE

      First thing I noticed

    • Mikael

      Which means nothing, Va drivers say about MD, DC say bout Va/Md, Md say about DC/Va, means nothing; don’t make it about that because its not. It takes away from what really happened.

  • Ralph

    That is Clarendon, an area with tons of pedestrians (especially on a Friday night).

    Just slow the f*** down with your stupid cars.

  • CW

    Terrible. Used to live on that block and i have long maintained that that is one intersection where more enforcement IS needed. There is a lot of law breaking going on by all parties at all times and it makes it very unpredictable and dangerous. I would also maintain that that intersection would be a good candidate for a four way walk aka Barnes dance but traffic engineers hate them.

  • Bob

    Freakin” Maryland driver!!! I knew it. Sure hope the guy who was hit will be ok.

    • Just Me

      It’s amazing the driver didn’t hit and run, they do that over there.

  • Salmon Ella

    It’s hard enough trying to drive in Clarendon traffic dealing with cars. Add in people crossing against the light, not in the cross walk, and it is just asking for something like this. Driving too fast, or not paying close enough attention, throw in late evening darkness and a few drinks…disaster.

    • McDeviltoast

      I agree. Clarendon foot traffic is a problem. I am not defending the driver nor suggesting for a second that the pedestrian was in the wrong, but merely stating what I observe anytime I drive in Clarendon: People will cross whenever and wherever. It seems like there’s this mentality that because there’s a crosswalk, it’s an extension of the sidewalk. The street is still a street, yellow paint or no, and it should be a priority to cross it as quickly as possible and get clear of harm’s way. Perhaps the bright side to this horrible accident will be more responsible crossings.

      • Zelora

        You are right. Some of the pedestrians cross against traffic WITHOUT LOOKING and while wearing earphones. I’m surprised this kind of accident doesn’t happen more often.

  • C.J.

    According to the eye witnesses I spoke with a few minutes after the accident, he was in the crosswalk. The only question was if he had a walk or don’t walk signal at the time.

    • Eyewitness

      Saw the accident firsthand. The pedestrian was not in the crosswalk. That driver was going way over the speed limit. The driver nearly hit someone, who got out of the way just in time, on the opposite end of the intersection before the impact with the pedestrian.

      I’m never jaywalking again after witnessing this. Also, lost some faith in humanity when some d-bag in a mango colored shirt, having just learned what happened, started asking my group “was there blood?” This was about 30 yards away from the actual body of the victim.

      • Tabs

        Err, not ‘body of’ since he’s alive. Just victim.

        Certainly looks like that car was going very fast when it hit him.

    • LEFant44

      According to the article, a witness said he was “outside the crosswalk.” So much for eyewitnesses. I, too, pray he will recover.

    • SHLady

      it doesn’t matter if he was in the crosswalk or what color the lights were. The driver is always responsibile for the safety of pedestrians, no matter how stupid they may be. And that area is FULL of pedestrians.

  • Rick

    I didn’t know it was possible to go faster than 18 MPH on that stretch at night. Prayers to the person hit.

  • Steamboat Willie

    Terrible event.

    On an unrelated note, why does so many traffic/police reports employ the redundant “high rate of speed” expression? Rate = Speed.

    It’s a pet peeve of mine.

    • CW

      The velocity vector had a significant magnitude, happy?

    • Amen!

      “Rate of speed” is like “period of time,” “lesson learned,” and “specific example” in being “repetitively redundant.”

      • Tabs

        I want to scream when people say “9 am in the morning.”

      • sunflower

        with au jus, atm machine

        • Amen again!

          Esp. au jus. Drives me NUTS when some young thang waitron calls it “au jus sauce.” It means “with juice.” And it’s OH-zhoos, not AW-zhoos.

          • Tabby_TwoTone

            The many mispronunciations of “L’Enfant” by metro workers…grrr.

          • Amen Man

            Anglicization of furrin words is where I cut some slack. And the usual “Luh-FONT” is a reasonable and actually pretty close approximation of the French way, “Law-FAHN.”

            Now if you ever hear a driver say “La Infant”…[insert shriek emoticon]

          • drax


          • Hattie McDaniel

            I once heard a metro train driver pronounce it “Elephant” Plaza.

          • SHLady

            The correct pronunciation is more like “lahn-Fahn”

          • 7-11-bum

            It seems like every other morning I get a guy who says “LAY-font” plaza. WRONG!! It’s not a bag of chips! And then there’s “JEW-dishew-ary Square”. I’ve considered writing WMATA a letter requesting that they better educate their Metro conductors so as to stop making [all] Americans appear to be complete idiots to foreign guests.

          • CGull

            and the “s” at the end is not pronounced.

  • McChipstah

    “…bloody evidence marked at the scene, including the victim’s shoes, pants and shirt.”

    I get the shoes and maybe even the shirt, but his pants?

    • CW

      EMTs will often cut them off with shears to access wounds.

  • Kiki

    Not surprised! At the hour…you get the drunks coming out the bar…stumbling in the street…AND you get the drunks driving real fast! See it all the time.

  • Tabs

    Hope he recovers.

  • HughJassPhD

    [Post removed per comment policy]

    • TomTom

      Uncalled for, when it is possible this ped may not pull through

    • Ashley

      As a friend of the pedestrian, this is completely out of line. Try to have a little compassion for the victim and his family!!

  • Old Curmudgeon

    As has been said before by several other commentators concerning vehicle/pedestrian crashes in Arlington — This accident is a direct result of the county board’s unwritten (so I can’t give you a copy of it – but ask any cop who will confirm it) policy of not “harassing” the pedestrians.

    A number of times I have seen cop cars stop for jaywalkers and then just drive on. I have seen cops at red lights see pedestrians cross against the same red light and the cop does nothing.

    The solution is for the county board to tell the chief of police that the board wants strict enforcement of those rules that protect pedestrians (and bicyclists too) so that we don’t have this kind of tragedy as often. This, of course, means that cops must be told that they will not get in trouble if they give tickets to pedestrians who are breaking the rules.

    • 1

      Yup, it has nothing to do with the fact that the driver was drunk and speeding at 2am. Nothing at all.

      • TomTom

        +1 million

    • drax

      Sorry, no, quote a cop or else the policy doesn’t exist. I don’t even begin to believe some random anonymous guy on the internet saying there’s an unwritten policy.

      That said, enforcement of traffic laws,including jaywalking, is a good thing. And this victim may not only have contributed to the accident by not crossing properly, he also may have given the drunk something to hang his legal defense on.

    • DCBuff

      Terrible accident, drunk driver, speeding, the driver could have hit someone legally crossing a street. But the OC is absolutely right about jaywalking in ArlCo. In the past week I’ve seen two peds cross into traffic across major streets in complete violation of every law possible, and in front of the cops, the ACPD ignored both. Both individuals could easily have been hit by cars with sober drivers.

    • CommonCents

      This blog would make me laugh if it wasn’t so sad– all people ever post is that the police are dealing with petty things, writing too many tickets to raise revenue, and not doing “real police work” like catching murderers in the act. Then something like this happens and it’s “WHY WON’T THE POLICE ENFORCE JAYWALKING?!?!?” As usual, the Police can’t win, which is probably why some stop trying. Typical overreaction Arlingtonians. All the dollars and no cents.

      • drax

        Awesome post.

      • Just the Facts


      • Anonymous

        This is the post of the year.

      • CW

        Cute, but a simplistic viewpoint. I’ve been one of the vocal proponents of ACPD doing more. But I’ve also stated pretty clearly that that definition in my mind includes enforcing ALL traffic laws in very dangerous areas. What I’ve advocated for most strongly is just ACPD having more of a presence in the community, working beats, whether it be on foot, car, or bike, to deter crime (small or large). This would help with “real” crime, and it would help with pedestrian/motorist safety as well.

        hat this does not include is sticker checks and issuing tickets for +5 mph on access-controlled highways.

        • DCBuff

          Completely, totally agree with CW on this. And, the point I made about the 2 pedestrians jaywalking was obviously missed by a rather simplistic response. Nevertheless, since ACPD has very clearly had a policy to write tickets for vehicles, why not jaywalkers? The issue is one created by ACPD, not by ArlCo residents wanting “real police work.” And, why would any police officer “stop trying” to do his or her job? Lame excuse in a weak post. The “post of the year” on this topic is not from CommonCents, but CW’s.

  • Ralph

    Charged with DUI. I hope the driver goes away for LIFE.

    To everyone who ever thought “ah, a few drinks are fine, I can still drive”: NO.

    • Simple_Solutions

      “Charged with DUI.” Not convicted.

    • Simple_Solutions

      And yes, a few drinks are fine. Being legally intoxicated (or more) is not fine.

  • dang!

    horrible…some barely legal human stain drunk driver ……

  • Joe Schmuckatella

    Yuppieville, Peoples Respublik of Arlington. Stay away from that death trap.

    • Ralph

      Please do, yes.

  • GymmyrayGymmyray

    Hate to say it, but not the least bit surprised this driver is from PG County. They drive crazy over there and they don’t have the population density of Arlington.

    • That Guy

      Yep, MD drivers are the worst. Wishing the best for the victim

  • drax

    Yes, it must be the fault of outsiders. There are no drunks or bad drivers or criminals in our community.

    • Tre


  • this is just horrible – the damage to the car is one of the worse I’ve seen by far. That poor man must be reallllyy injured. Pray he survives, but if he does, he will have a long road ahead of him with his injuries.

    I can’t imagine witnessing something like this – very disturbing.
    Eyewitness, don’t lose faith in people – that one was just dumb – or even shocked. People react differently to horrible events.

    • tabs

      And he may not have meant it the way it sounded.

  • Old Fart

    The fact that the victim was “outside the crosswalk” has less meaning than it otherwise might.

    How often do you see drivers stop when pedestrians are either in or about to enter crosswalks?

    How would you like this little bet: your buddy/girlfriend gets a dime every time you observe a driver ignoring crosswalks, and you get a dime every time you observe a driver honoring them.

    This victim MIGHT have fared better IN the crosswalk rather than outside it, but I wouldn’t have bet on it, drunk driver or not.

    • Tabs

      Agree. I was just in that crosswalk, and an SUV turning was soo0 impatient about us pesky pedestrians slowing her down that she revved the engine and screeched through while we were still in the crosswalk.

    • drax

      It’s still safer to cross at a crosswalk. Drivers are more likely to see you (the sober ones at least).

      Walking outside the crosswalk might make it harder for the victim to win a lawsuit against the driver though, or reduce the amount awarded.

  • Tabs

    WUSA is reporting that his name is Tyler Bruce Willis, not Wills.

    • That is incorrect. It’s Wills.

      • tabs

        II figured you got it right. Just querying.

    • WUSA also spelled Arlington “Arglington” in the headline

      • Don’t be so judgmental

        “Arglington” is a Maryland spelling. It’s like British spelling. They also have their own math.

        • tabs

          Maybe they have fat fingers.

      • TheCountysBestYokel

        WUSA is the pariah of local news.

      • South SIde Chris

        I’m officially changing the name of Clarendon to, “Arglington.”

        • drax


        • CW


        • ClarendonXpatriate


  • A quick search of Arlington’s General District Court records show a Mr. Tyler Bruce Wils of Bowie, MD has two moving violations this past April. Guilty both times.

    More importantly, the ACPD needs to take enforcement in the late night hours around Clarendon more seriously. Not harassing people out having a good time but make a presence to keep people from getting out of control, watch out for drunks improperly crossing streets, and discourage drunk driving.

    A lot of those people leaving the bars at 1 or 2 in the morning might think differently about driving if they saw a few police cars driving around and a few police officers on foot.

    • Just Me

      Mr. Wils better start praying real hard this man survives, he was drunk, speeding and hit a person. Walking just outside the crosswalk is not in the middle of the road. He has other moving violations in Arlington, God knows how many in MD. The court will have fun with this man.

      • TomTom

        I hope he spends the rest of his miserable life rotting in jail no matter the outcome of the ped, who I wish the best too

    • CommonCents

      Oh, so it’s the Police’s fault. Makes perfect sense.

    • Fillmore

      Agree strongly about the poor effort on the part of ACPD in keeping order in Clarendon on weekends. I live on a sidestreet a short walk from the bars and we are routinely woken up every Thurs, Fri, and Sat night at closing time by drunks whooping, fighting, and urinating on nearby buildings. Absolutely no respect is shown for the neighborhood. I have seen countless obliterated fratsters climb into their cars and head off to parts unknown, presumably unmolested by law enforcement sobriety checks. Catching drunks on their way out of Clarendon would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

      • John K

        Walkable and vibrant doesn’t just bring froyo and yoga… it also brings this kind of… fun.

    • Just the Facts

      You clearly haven’t been out in Clarendon on weekend nights recently, or, for one reason or another, haven’t been paying attention to the police presence. A few months ago ACPD started staffing Clarendon with extra officers (6 or more) on Friday and Saturday nights. They generally post up around the Ballroom/Spider Kelly’s/Eventide and Mr. Day’s/Clarendon Grill areas (known hot spots), with extra checks down around Whitlow’s.

      In addition, ACPD runs several (4-6) extra officers on targeted DUI patrols on Thus-Sun nights. Many, if not most, of these officers choose to work the Clarendon area due to the increased chance of making a DUI arrest in that area.

      Also, the 2-3 regular midnight officers who work the far north side areas of the county (mostly residential where late night calls are few and far between) usually move down into the Courthouse/Clarendon/Ballston area around bar closing time to provide extra patrols. This is in addition to the 4-5 officers who are actually assigned to that area.

      Finally, unless he is actually on a call, the northside K-9 unit who works weekend nights is always in Clarendon.

      Oh, and Metro PD almost always stations at least one, and usually 2-3, officers at the top of the Clarendon Metro station on Friday and Saturday nights.

      All told, this means 15-20 officers are in and around an area that is maybe 6-8 blocks long and 3-4 blocks wide. What more do you want? A cop on every corner? Fine, pony up the $ and step up to provide the counter argument when everyone else starts screaming about Arlington running a “police state.”

      Cops can’t be everywhere. And even when they are, it doesn’t guarantee a crime-free environment. There could have been a cop on this block and this allegedly drunk idiot could still have decided to gun his engine and run that poor guy down.

    • Veteran

      Cops can’t fix culture. We have a culture of casual disregard for traffic laws. The fact that 32,000 Americans dies on the road every year has no emotional impact on us as we — unthinkingly, habitually, and without any social stigma whatsoever — ignore the rules that are in place to keep people safe.

      When it is so completely socially acceptable to violate traffic safety rules that even the police think its unimportant to enforce them again brother cops (Google “police professional courtesy”), we have a problem that is MUCH bigger than the cops.

      Obey traffic laws, and let your friends know they should too. It’s the only way to fix this.

  • SenseiC

    The pedestrian that got struck is a member of our church in Collinsville, VA (about a 6-hour drive from DC). His parents are at the GW hospital. Last report we received from them is that they have put external braces on his legs and have him in a medically-induced coma. Please keep him, his parents, and Mr. Wills all in prayer.

    SenseiC bows out.

    PS: Not that it matters, but the victim’s their only child.

    • Just Me

      Thanks for the info, prayers he recovers.

    • how sad. This must be so hard for the parents, family and friends. Thanks for the update. Will keep all in my prayers.

    • Dezlboy

      Appreciate the information. I’ll hold the victim in my heart.

  • Mike

    My son is one of the young man’s best friends – this is a stellar young man. My son is the one who notified his family.

    The driving record of the man who hit him is ridiculous. Look it up, it is all online.

    How did he even have a license at this point?

    Keep the family in your prayers. These are such top-notch, wonderful people. His friends just returned from the hospital and the pain is significant.

  • JimPB

    Research has found substantial inaccuracies in eye witness testimony, even when the setting was one of good order and quiet and there was good light and a view of the incident.

    The Abraham Lincoln challenge of eye witness testimony precedes the research by something like a century and a half.

    A witness against Lincoln’s client testified (and reaffirmed) that a clear night and full moon enabled the witness to clearly see the defendant perpetrate a crime. Lincoln showed complete inaccuracy of the testimony with an almanac. That record of moon phases showed that there was no moon on the night of the crime.

  • Ryan

    Gotta love the “Maryland driver…first thing I noticed….PG county..not surprised” comments on here. No subtle racism there…none at all.

    • Greg

      Have you ever driven in PG County? If you have, you would know it has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with how people drive there.

    • SHLady

      this has nothing to do with race.

    • i’m sorry, i take issue with this. PG county is known for having a signifcantly higher crime rate than arlington county, this is fact. i have several friends (of various races and ethnic backgrounds) who grew up (and learned to drive) in PG, and one of them made a (half-joking – but only half) statement about PG drivers – the cops are too busy with “real crime” to crack down on minor* traffic infractions. it was funny, but i mean… yeah.

      i commute from arlington to northeast dc every day, via 395, se/sw fwy, 3rd st tunnel, and new york avenue. the driving – and pedestrian actions – i see in this corridor is atrocious. on a regular basis, pedestrians will walk across the street – in a crosswalk, or not – against the lights, just slowly ambling across, and will actually stop in the middle of a lane and stare down a driver. it is unbelievable. i have laid on my horn to get a pedestrian out of the crosswalk – not because i was impatient and they were taking too long, but because i had a(n already) green light, they stopped right smack in the middle of the lane, and they had kids with them. KIDS! i was afraid somebody would come up behind me too fast and hit me, driving me into them. and i am ALWAYS being honked at for stopping at red lights with my right turn signal on – in intersections with clearly marked “no turn on red” signs. there are always people making illegal U-turns in the middle of the road, or making a left turn at intersections clearly marked as no left turn – either permanently (ny ave and n cap, ny ave and florida) or during rush hour (esp around chinatown) and nearly killing themselves or other drivers.

      it has made me a much better driver, to be honest. i was never all that aggressive, but it doesn’t matter if it’s drivers or pedestrians with the attitude, it’s dangerous to everyone. add alcohol into the mix, and we’re all screwed.

      that veered a little off course, but i needed to get it off my chest. best wishes to the victim and his friends and family for a swift recovery, and to the driver for justice to be served.

      * minor of course being a relative term… running a stop sign or rolling through a red light is only “minor” if it doesn’t result in an accident. but you get my point, yes?

      • So what does your commute to NE DC have to do with PG County?

        • only my first paragraph was directly about pg county. thought i made that clear when i mentioned veering off course, aka tangential thoughts… sorry if it wasn’t. that said, if you look at a map, you’ll see that northeast dc is nestled into pg, and if you continue east on ny ave (or rhode island, or…) you cross the line. pg and ne aren’t separated by land like arlington and dc – the boundary is much more easily blurred, and the demographics similar.

        • malaka

          got it right here: “the demographics similar” I think I know what you are talkkking about.

          • Amanda

            Yeah, “similar demographics.” Very subtle. Does your experience driving in NE DC also inform your knowledge of drivers in Harlem?

            I cant believe people turn a story like this into a state vs. state driving ability argument. The driver is obviously an idiot and a terrible driver and it has nothing to do with which state he lives in. It’s bad enough with the usual North Arlington vs. South Arlington snobbery. I am so glad that I don’t live in Arlington anymore.

          • Walker

            Totally agree. Plus, the guy’s mugshot was up on the Patch article yesterday, for anybody that wants to supplement their silly demographics “arguments”.

    • Goldmember

      Seeing as both the driver and the pedestrian are of the same race, wtf are you talking about?

  • BaconAndSex

    Umm…the defense to DUI is not that the victim was at or partly at fault.

    If the finder of fact determines that your BAC at the time you were driving the vehicle was .08 or higher they can find the defendant guilty.

    § 18.2-266. Driving motor vehicle, engine, etc., while intoxicated, etc.

    “It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train (i) while such person has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more by weight by volume or 0.08 grams or more per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a chemical test administered as provided in this article…”

    It is a rebuttable presumption, but the defense would have to show reason to believe that the driver was not under the influence of alcohol which is going to be fairly difficult given that there are going to be a large number of police officers who observed the defendant in the moments after the accident.

    Now the felony charge of DUI maiming (§ 18.2-51.4) is different, it does require more subjective evidence that shows a disregard for human life. Hence, if the defendant was not speeding and appeared to be driving normally and the victim improperly crossed there would be a defense.

    • Kate

      His BAC was .08…

    • drax

      Not a defense against a criminal charge – but possibly a defense against a lawsuit by the victim.

      • CW

        Yep, my (limited) understanding as explained to me by an attorney is that in Virginia, if you have one ounce of contributory negligence, there’s no case.

        • Columbia Pike Trolley

          That’s a good thing. Otherwise you’d have rampant abuse.

          • CW

            “Rampant abuse”. Such as someone one inch outside a crosswalk being able to sue when they are struck by a drunk driver with no headlights on (NOT saying that any of this was the case here – I’m making an extreme hypothetical). Right.

  • Ballston guy

    Sending prayers and thoughts to the Victim and his family.

  • Qwerty65

    It took a full day for somebody to play the race card on the Maryland comments. I am not from here and think Arlingtonians drive too fast but Maryland drivers, especially pg county, are worse. Thats not racism, thats a fair accessment from an outsider. None of this matters (save possibly lax md courts) when a family is in such pain tonight.

  • Charles

    Hi everyone… I been reading all these comments and a lot of you guys have good points. I was the passenger in the Honda civic next to Tyler Wills at the time of the accident. The whole situation is so very sad and the only thing that matter at this point is if the victim recovers from this horrible incident. Please everyone pray for the victim, and his family and for Wills.

    • Sharon A

      I am the aunt to the Pedestrian that was struck, I have one question for you, why didnt you take his keys or call a cab? This was a senseless accident!

      • Me ke

        We are praying for your nephew and your family…I really hope you believe this happening…it’s not just a saying

      • Tabs

        I don’t think you understood Charles’ comment.

      • Just Me

        Sharon, Charles may have been too drunk to know better. So Charles, how drunk were you?

      • CW

        Umm, the OP may want to clarify this comment, but in my book “next to” does not read the same as “that struck”; I am thinking that Charles was in another car elsewhere on the road near the accident?

        • Vicente Fox

          Exactly. Learn to read people.

          • drax

            The way it is written, and since the crash involved a Honda Civic, it could be either.

          • Tabs

            Uh, yeah, I read it as “being in another car” next to the Honda Civic.


          • SouthPikeGuy

            I really doubt there was a second Honda Civic right next to the Honda Civic that struck the person. Besides, why would he feel the need to clarify he was the passenger in another car, rather than just saying he was in another car?

            It sounds to me like he was the front seat passenger in the car that struck the person.

          • Would you admit to that?

          • SouthPikeGuy

            Admit to being in the car? What’s the harm?

        • Chris

          Um… the car that struck the ped is a civic, my reading is that he was in the car.

          • CW

            I know, but that would be really weird, unless “next to” is his effort to psyschologically distance himself from the event.

          • drax

            Nor shortage of really weird grammar here.

          • CW

            Nor shortage of weird speeling, nor shortage of weird grammer.

          • drax

            Or typos.

    • Mike Hunt

      Charels was not in charge

  • Mike

    Did you think to tell him to slow down driving through there? Did you think to call a cab? Yes, the recovery of the victim matters – a lot. It also matters that there is never another victim of a guy with this driving record.

    • Columbia Pike Trolley

      Did he think to look before he crossed the road? They guy wasn’t traveling at the speed of sound…

  • Megan

    The victim has a name and its Michael. Hes one of my best friends. He was not drinking and had no drinks before the accident. Some friends had come into town and asked him to meet up. He was on the way to see them. Both his legs are broke.. his arm.. they put him in a medically induced coma and took off part of his skull. They are praying his brain doesnt swell in the next 48hours. Please pray for him!

    • Just Me

      That face that Michael was not drunk will help him in his recovery. Really sorry for him and please post updates.

  • Kate

    To Meghan and Michaels family..
    I work at Hard Times and want to let you know we are all so sorry this happened.. We see crazy things Friday and Saturday nights.. I will be praying for all of you, especially Michael…
    God is amazing and can do miraculous things..
    You are definetly all being thought of and are being prayed for..

    • Friends

      I am one of Michael’s friends who was at the scene on Friday. Please tell the Hard Times employees thank you so, so much for their help and the water. They were amazing.

  • Me ke

    Make drunk driving a felony in Virginia and you won’t see as many of these tragic incidents. A car can become a weapon very easily especially with someone who is selfish enough to drink and drive. Their is nothing that shows more maturity than the individual who announces “no thanks….I am driving”…if anyone still pushes the alcohol after you say that…then they are the fool

    • Joe Schmuckatella

      Drunk driving + another crime, such as this one. Else, the quarts will be klogged because nobody will plead out.

    • Veteran

      A felony for something that thousands of white middle-class people might get charged with annually?

      Good luck with that.

      Felonies are for people carrying one gram of crack, not for people putting other’s lives at risk with a two-ton missile.

      • Truth


    • drax

      I doubt making it felony will help one bit. Killing or seriously injusring someone with a vehicle is a felony already, but that didn’t stop this guy from driving drunk. It’s the likelihood of getting caught that makes the difference. He’s probably driven drunk many times and gotten away with it.

  • Joe

    Why was the victim taken to GWU hospital? Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington is much closer to the accident scene.

    • Mike Hunt

      maybe GW has a better trauma center?

      • Anon

        Yes, GW has the best neuro trauma program in the area.

    • Just Me

      I know a lady that had a brain tumor removed at GW and they have a good brain center. Michael was in such bad shape and they knew his head was really messed up is my guess to why they took him there, I don’t think that happens that often.

    • Friend

      GW hospital is the #1 neuro surgery hospital in the country

    • Garden City

      Virginia Hospital Center has an ER but it is not classified as a trauma center. A list of Virginia trauma centers is found here: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/OEMS/Trauma/TraumaCenters.htm

      Inova Fairfax is Northern VA’s only Level I trauma center. Level I trauma centers in the District are Georgetown Univ. Hospital, George Washington University Hospital, Howard University Hospital and Washington Hospital Center. Children’s National Medical is a pediatric Level I trauma center.

    • CW

      Why do the VHC trolls come out every single time there is a major accident? Are they lacking in business over there? The EMTs know what they are doing; they know where to take a patient needing a specific type of care (neuro, burns, etc.).

      • SteamboatWillie

        So someone asking why a victim wasn’t taken to a closer hospital is “trolling” in your opinion? Did you consider that the poster might have actually been genuinely curious?

        I didn’t realize the various classifications of trauma centers in the area.

        • CW

          Sorry, you’re right, it’s just that this same question is asked every…single…time…there is any kind of major injury.

  • C

    Arlington does not have a trauma center

  • Arlington3023

    I saw the car fly by right before it hit the pedestrian. I actually said “that guy is going to kill someone”…that’s how fast he was going. I’m wondering if I should call non-emergyency police and offer to provide an account of how fast he was going (or appeared to be going). It’s such a dense area I’m sure they have many witnesses. Any thoughts?

    • Ralph

      I would definitely call.

      (703) 558-2222

      • Dan

        Ditto that….

    • Just Me

      Yes call them.

    • Just Me

      You didn’t hear the crash or know that it happened?

      • Homer

        Maybe she was drunk as well.

    • Friend

      I’m a friend of the victim. Yes, please call. There are a few witnesses but in this situation, having more information is best.

  • Diane

    I stopped reading all the comments two-thirds of the way through.
    THE ISSUE IS DRINKING AND DRIVING not the crosswalk nor enforcing against jaywalking. This young man was hit and is in a medically induced coma because he was a VICTIM. The incident is the consequence of a DUI. More important questions would be: Where did the driver of the car drink ? If he was with others who drink, why didn’t someone take his keys? Why do young adults drink and then drive when we all know that it’s illegal for good reasons, that perception and judgment are long-gone, that it can result in hurting and killing innocent people, that it hurts their friends and family,

    • SHLady


    • arlmom

      I am sorry, but you are mistaken.

      I live a block and 1/2 from where this accident took place and there are high speeds and reckless drivers in the middle of the day. We take our life in our hands everytime we run our errands on foot. I have been close enough to touch a car that nearly ran over my infant son and I as a driver swerved to get around an SUV waiting for us to cross within the crosswalk with ‘right of way’ light. Drivers in this area are out of control.

      Come sit on my front porch in the middle of the day and see them run straight through the stop sign on our corner on two wheels. We have so many young children on our street–it is very scary.

      It is easy to say it is a ‘drunk’ problem–but it is also a ‘hurry up and find parking to get to a bar’ problem as well, e.g, as before a drink has been had.

      • CW

        I lived on the very block where this accident occurred, and I agree with you. Part of why I moved – just too busy, too much, too many careless people (of all kinds – drunk and sober, behind the wheel, the handlebars, on foot).

      • 7-11-bum

        This happened to me last week. I was in my car waiting for a man and his son to cross an intersection – they had a crossing light. A car came from behind me and tried to squeeze to the left, almost taking the two out. Same thing happened several months ago and the jerk almost mowed down an old lady. People disgust me sometimes.

        • arlmom

          It happens all the time at Clarendon market intersection by Whole Foods. A friend of mine was hit on a bike there. Luckily, it wasn’t high speed and she was okay.

    • drax

      I get your point, Diane, but it’s possible for a drunk driver to not be at fault when hitting a pedestrian. Doesn’t sound like that’s true here, but it’s possible.

  • arlmom

    My thoughts and prayers are with the victim and his family. I am sickened by this. I can’t imagine what they are going through right now.

    I am a mom to two young boys and I live just about 1.5 blocks from this accident location. I am disturbed by the blame on the victim. I encounter out of control drivers all hours of the day (this is not a late evening problem).

    We have had many ‘near misses’ when we are walking across the street with a ‘walk’ sign and within the crosswalk. Drivers come flying through our neighborhood and our stop signs with little regard for their environment.

    We have cars try to fly out in front of us in the crosswalk, swerve around us instead of waiting for us to cross, etc. It is pathetic. I understand the frustration with trying to turn right or left when there is heavy pedestrian traffic and a very short light-still it is not worth somebody’s life.

    I have lived in other major cities and have not experienced this blatant disregard for safety of pedestrians. I don’t know why this doesn’t seem to be a problem on other major city streets like Wisconsin or M. The number of pedestrians or bikers struck by cars in this area has to be the highest in the region.

    Something needs to be done.

    • BreakPause02

      “Something needs to be done.”

      Yes. While not related to this unfortunate situation, Arlington needs to stop making roads hostile to drivers and their cars.

      “I understand the frustration with trying to turn right or left when there is heavy pedestrian traffic and a very short light-still it is not worth somebody’s life.”

      Agreed that is it is not worth someone’s life. But at some point the anti-car policies may just cost that.

      • drax

        Um, you’re complaining about alleged anti-car, pro-pedestrian policies in a story about a pedestrian who got hit by a drunk driver?

      • SomeGal

        Or better yet, get rid of cars all together and only allow bicycles on roads.

      • awesomepossum

        You’ve got to be kidding, right? I’ve driven in Arlington for many years and it is actually quite pleasant to be a driver here, but if I’m in a hurry I don’t drive through main-street Clarendon.

        • arlmimprov

          Hopefully you don’t drive through the adjacent neighborhood streets when you are in a hurry either.

  • rossl

    I have to agree with other comments about the horrible drivers in the Clarendon area. I’ve seen such ridiculous things – backing up in the middle of the street, people turning down one way streets (and speeding off, not even noticing they’re going the wrong way), running red lights (very obviously), turning even though people are pushing baby strollers across the crosswalk (with the walk sign).

    And also, there are cops all over Clarendon any Thurs/Fri/Sat night now. All over.

    Prayers to the victim’s friends and family.

    • arlmom

      There is a ‘DO NOT ENTER’ at the end of my street out to Highland. Cars do not even slow down or stop but go flying past it to cut to Highland St. They blatantly turn down N.Garfield directly into the ‘DO NOT ENTER’ portion and rush right past it. There is an Elementary school bus stop serving two different schools at the corner. I see it happen at least a dozen times a day. At happy hour time–the stop sign does not even exist to drivers. It is ridiculous.

      • BreakPause02

        That do not enter sign has been there for as long as I can remember (15+years) so that’s not some new plot to be anti-car. Although, I don’t see any reason why that intersection cannot be configured to allow two-way traffic right there.

        I would say that while you see at least a dozen a day, there are many many more who do not go through it even though they want to. They go around to Fillmore to get to Highland.

  • Road Diet

    We should ask the County to look into making Clarendon a two-way street again and reducing the effective speed of traffic. There is no reason that there is a 2-lane “highway” going straight through a major pedestrian area.

    There is 66, Lee Highway and Arlington Boulevard for those cars that need to get from Ballston to Rosslyn and further at higher speeds.

    • arlmimprov

      I completely agree. The increase in pedestrian traffic and retail no longer fits the road plan.

    • Ralph


    • gmfbcc

      No thanks. That would just quadruple the traffic on my street.

    • Clarendon

      Many things would be better if Wilson and Clarendon were traditional 2-way streets but that would be a huge undertaking and I don’t think it is practical.

      • SouthPikeGuy

        It’s not practical to have a pedestrian crossing light in front of the Green Turtle, but that didn’t stop Arlington.

        • Road Diet

          On the contrary. It connects the two sides of Glebe for pedestrian traffic. Glebe Road is 6 lanes there — definitely needed a crossing light.

          • Walker

            No, the crossing does not need to be there.

          • Glebe Roader

            Yes, it does.

          • Walker

            Why? What would happen if it wasn’t there? Nobody would get hit by cars, just like before?

            Stop making a silly argument.

            You need to prove why it is needed. Which you can’t do. Because it is not.

            I’ll wait for proof.

        • Clarendon

          I don’t know that area well, but just putting in a crossing light doesn’t seem like that intensive of a project. Why was it not practical ?

          On the other hand, the conversion of Wilson and Clarendon back to 2-way would involve designing an intersection at Clarendon circle that can handle the “zipper” and more expensively, I think many of the intersections along the stretch were angled assuming the one way config and would have to be redesigned and built. I think it would be in the many 10’s of millions.

  • Juanita de Talmas

    What’s even more silly is that the speed limit on Clarendon & Wilson between Rosslyn and Clarendon Circle, where there are lots of pedestrians, is 30 mph. Yet between Clarendon Circle and Ballston, where pedestrians are considerably less, it drops to 25 mph. Makes no sense.

  • Grace

    Any update on the condition of the person hit by the car?

  • Novanglus

    This Washington Post article points to the problem. We should be a lot quicker to take away people’s licenses and impound their cars when they prove that they can’t handle the responsibility:


  • OutsideTheLaw

    According to the linked Post article:

    In April, he was found guilty of speeding in Maryland.

    Several days before that (apparently also in April), he was cited for speeding in Alexandria.

    In May, he paid a fine for an unsafe lane change in Arlington.

    That same month [May] was found guilty of speeding in Fairfax County.

    In June, he was found guilty of speeding in Arlington, records show.

    In September was found guilty in Prince George’s County of negligent driving, reckless driving, speeding, unsafe lane change and other charges.

    He has another pending speeding case in Anne Arundel County.

    And now this. I think that’s 8 different violations/stops/citations/convictions all in 6 months. And I’ll be he’s not insured.

    • Just Me

      He needs to be off the road permanently.

  • Just Me

    I would love an update on how Michael is doing.

  • me too

    I’ve been thinking of Michael since I read this when it was first posted; I’d also love an update.

    • Friend

      I am not sure exactly how much the family wants to share, but I can report that Michael is doing better. His brain pressure has gone down significantly. He is still being kept in a medically induced coma and the plan is to have him woken up on friday if he reacts correctly to the treatment. Everyone just please keep praying for him. We can not get too much support for him!

      • Arlmom

        I will keep praying for him and for a good recovery!

  • neighborino

    I live in an apartment building on the corner near the incident, and now I know why there were a bunch of sirens Saturday morning (wasn’t aware of the accident until tonight).

    Anyway, there is a mutual culture of disrespect amongst drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists in Clarendon…sad it takes someone getting hit to force people to reassess their actions. And yes, I know the drunk guy speeding bears most of the responsibility for this incident; however, people are being pretty disingenuous about their concern for the victim when they don’t question his actions as well.

    Again, I live in Clarendon! I’ve stood at crosswalks waiting for the light to change while others run out in the middle of the street, with little regard for the traffic that has the right of way. I’ve also looked both ways before crossing, just in time to see a car speed past a red light on Clarendon Blvd. On the other hand, I’ve had to honk at plenty of pedestrians who think they have the right to cross the street despite the “No Walking” light flashing. Cyclists are a mixed bag…most obey the rules, but plenty of them act like cyclists are bound to no rules whatsoever.

    Nobody deserves to be hit by a car and I hope the victim pulls through. That said, I hope that people realize that just because others are being idiots doesn’t mean they should follow suit. Jaywalking is just as stupid as drunk driving (even if one is likelier to have disastrous results).

    • Tabs

      “Jaywalking is just as stupid as drunk driving”

      Good Lord.

      • Marie Antoinette

        Sorry Tabs, but ’tis true. Jaywalking is as stupid.

        The Commonwealth subscribes to contributory negligence.

        My only advice to everyone in Clarendon: Wait for the big white walk figure before crossing the street. Stop and go back if you see the big orange hand.

  • Kate

    I I am

    I think this forum needs to be refocused on Michael and how he’s doing.. Yes, when you walk down there.. Pay attention.. Be responsible.. You are adults able to drink.. Be responsible with that..
    Agree with the last few posts.. An update would be appreciated..
    Still praying

    • Friend

      Refer to my comment above. A lot more will be known tomorrow about the outcome. But if you had ever met Michael you would know that he is as much of a fighter as you will ever meet. He is battling strong.

  • me too

    Thanks for the update — in my thoughts and prayers tonight.

  • ARLrez
  • It’s Me

    While I’m not typically part of the word choice police, I think ArlNow should refrain from using “accident” for stories like this. An accident is a tree falling onto a car, a tire blowout or some other random act of God. It’s no accident when someone drinks too much then chooses to get behind the wheel. Yes, it’s “alleged” but there is enough info to simply call this a crash. “Accident” lets the driver off the hook with such benign terminology.

    • CW

      I’ll give that a thumbs up.

    • Quoth the Raven

      Similar to when someone does something intentional, and then tries to call it a “mistake”. A mistake in judgement, perhaps, but not a mistake that you did it.

    • Claire

      I haven’t thought about the use of the word “accident” before, and I think that is a great idea.

  • Skaufman

    Saw the police blocking the street off, wasn’t sure what was happening at the time.
    Praying for Michael, and sending best wishes to his family.
    Hopefully, Tyler Bruce wills will be looking at some serious prison time.
    Amazing, with all the education that we receive, even in high-school, about the dangers of drunk driving,take a taxi,call a friend…..etc, that people STILL, think its ok to drive drunk.
    Funny thing is, by law, The bartender is personally liable, as well as the establishment that served him.
    IF (and a big IF here) the bartender and restaurant were sued, Tyler Wills could in theory also, cost many people their jobs as well.
    Interesting to look at the possible/probable associated costs with DUI maiming.

    • Assuming?

      I also hope that Wills gets some prison time, but that’s a pretty big assumption to say that Wills was even served by an establishment, unless you know something that the rest of us don’t…

  • Kate

    Any update on Michael?

  • Mike

    Still hanging tough, making some progress, a long way yet to go.

    • Tabby_TwoTone

      It’s a good sign that he’s holding tough and making progress.

  • Skaufman

    Only assuming.
    Figured as he was a Maryland driver, coming from Virginia, driving towards Maryland, he probably was drinking at an establishment.


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