Critical Pedestrian Accident Near Kenmore Middle School

by ARLnow.com January 23, 2013 at 8:15 pm 3,699 65 Comments

Pedestrian accident on Carlin Springs Road near Kenmore Middle School Pedestrian accident on Carlin Springs Road near Kenmore Middle School

(Updated at 10:15 p.m.) Arlington County police are investigating a serious pedestrian accident on Carlin Springs Road, in front of Kenmore Middle School.

Around 7:00 p.m., a man in his 30s was struck by a car on Carlin Springs Road just south of Route 50, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The man suffered “severe head trauma” and was transported in critical condition to Inova Fairfax Hospital.

The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene, Sternbeck said. The driver was eventually transported to a local hospital for minor injuries caused by broken glass.

Carlin Springs Road was closed to traffic between Route 50 and 2nd Street while police investigated the accident. The ramp from eastbound Route 50 to Carlin Springs Road was also closed.

Firefighters were called to the scene to wash down a pool of blood where the man came to rest on the roadway.

  • Caat Grrrl

    I am not sure if this is the case in this instance, but I see more and more people trying to cross the streets in the middle of intersections. Recently, I saw a guy crossing Arlington Blvd during rush hour. Drivers please be careful and pedestrians please stop doing this. We can’t see you. I really don’t want to carry the burden of knowing I killed another human being around with me for the rest of my life just because they are too lazy to walk half a block to an intersection.

    • Same here

      Condolences to the family.

      I drive down CS twice every weekday at least. Today I saw a Hispanic guy trying to cross somewhere between the hospital and Kenmore–not at a crosswalk. He’d made it halfway across and was just standing there on the yellow line. I thought to myself how easy it would be for someone to hit him there, right where the road curves. One driver not focusing is all it would take.

      • Stay Classy

        To Same Here…and the fact the guy you saw trying to cross was “Hispanic” is relevant because…???

        • Hurley

          Seriously, the fact that he was a ‘guy’ is relevant because….???

        • drax

          Actually, it might be. I remember reading that Hispanics have very high rates of pedestrian accidents. Many come from countries where traffic is thinner and jay-walking is normal. Apparently it’s the most common source of tragedy in Spanish-speaking soap operas.

          • DCBuff

            While you are making certain assumptions, it should be pointed out that the “many” who come from other countries now reside here, in the U.S., in Arlington, and should be following the laws and customs of their adopted country. If for no other reason than for their own safety. No excuses. (This also applies to those brown flip-floppers who routinely ignore traffic signals in the R-B corridor.)

        • South Awwlington

          Why are demographics ever relevant then?

    • County to blame?

      The location of the accident IS at an intersection that does have wheelchair curb cuts but has never had the white lines painted for pedestrians. There have been several accidents at this location. I hope the man recovers and the county installs a signal and finally paints lines.


      The accident happened at a “T” intersection where there is a curb-cut for wheelchair crossing. However, the county has never painted crosswalk lines here. Over the past few years, there have been several pedestrians hit by cars at this site, two of them were students at Kenmore Middle School. The county needs to paint white lines as well as install a trafic signal.

  • Heather

    Unfortunately I drove past this accident minutes after it happened, before the ambulance arrived, though police were at the scene. It was definitely not in a crosswalk. The crosswalk was less than a block up the street, at a light. The scene was disturbing to see.

    Pedestrians need to cross in crosswalks, especially at night when it’s dark and drivers can’t see you until it’s too late.

    • Tabs

      Heather, it sounds like you can’t be sure he wasn’t thrown quite a distance, as people may be when they’re hit, at even a moderate speed.

      • Heather

        Well, he was on the street directly in front of the car that hit him. Which was stopped, as was the car behind it. So I’m pretty sure he wasn’t thrown far. He was very far from the crosswalk. Very far.

      • CW

        A couple different things:

        1) The nearest crosswalks to that intersection are a block or more in either direction, from looking at the google satellite view. So he clearly wasn’t in one.

        2) Yes, he should have been – but it was 15 degrees outside and he went for it. I’m not saying he was right – he wasn’t – but we’ve all been there.

        3) “drivers can’t see you until it’s too late.” Haha, that’s a good one – implying that drivers care about pedestrians in crosswalks. I was almost run down by an ACPD squad car a couple nights ago trying to cross Clarendon Blvd at a marked crosswalk – he was easily going over 50 mph past whole foods (no lights or sirens as usual).

        4) Drivers go EASILY twice the speed limit on that section of road, racing to/from the Pike or 50. The road is narrow, twisty, and undulates up and down. It is one of my least favorite sections of road to drive in the County.

        • drax

          On 4 – maybe, but at that part, it’s usually clogged with traffic so speeding doesn’t happen much.

        • ArlyMon

          Drivers go twice the speed limit of 30 mph? I have never seen anyone go 60 mph and I live off this stretch of road.

          • YTK

            You should see them blast their way up to Columbia Pike from South Courthouse Road.

          • Sat it Ain’t So

            Agree. From pedestrian point of view when I am doing my morning walk – it often seems like cars are racing by… however thrice now on 25th from Glebe to George Mason I had a woman -the same woman- shake her finger at me and act like I was racing down the street- when in fact I was going the speed limit. From the pedestrian point of view it usually seems like cars are going faster then they sometimes are…. unfortunately either the car w going faster or the fellow misjudged. Either way a tragic situ.

        • Speed

          I see cars speed up at this location all the time to beet the light that is located about 50 ft. away. I doubt they go twice the speed limit, but easily they are going 40mph. This would be a good reason/location for a speed camera.

    • kk

      I’m apparently alone here, but I always prefer to cross roads far from the intersections. I like to see the traffic coming from far away, and at intersections you can’t see if someone is speeding around the corner. At intersections aggressive drivers (and there are too many) give the impression they’d like to bump pedestrians out of the way. Even though a curvy fast road is not a great place to see traffic either – my sympathies go out ot the pedestiran adn his family – a driver should always be looking for any obstruction in the road especially a person! and prepared to avoid. Far too many drivers are on their cellphones and other distractions – not giving their deathmobile the attention it deserves.

  • Buckingham Beauty

    If the ramp from EB 50 is closed, my guess is that he was actually crossing at the intersection. I ride through there all the time on the bus, and I’ve yet to see anyone gutsy enough to run across the road between lights on that particular section of Carlin Springs, though I see them do it further south, i.e. a bit south of 1st St. S., where the road levels out a bit. Perhaps they don’t run across at 50 because, as a pedestrian, it’s really hard to see traffic coming south up the hill. But that intersection’s horrible for pedestrians and drivers alike, and if this happened around 7:00, then it was dark on top of that. I hope the injured man ends up OK.

    • Buckingham Bandit

      How are you liking the neighborhood, Beauty?

      • Buckingham Beauty

        Very well, Bandit. You?

    • Heather

      It did not happen at either the rte 50/carlin springs intersection or the next intersection w/a crosswalk & light entering the Kenmore property. Rather it was in the middle of the street. Not a safe place to cross Carlin Springs day or night, unfortunately. Sad situation all around.

      • Buckingham Beauty

        Wow, I stand corrected. And amazed that someone would actually do it. Crossing that part of Carlin Springs — or for that matter, ANY part of Carlin Springs between 50 and Skyline — not at a crosswalk seems ridiculously stupid.

  • LL

    BB, nearly two blocks were closed, starting at the intersection with 50 and running almost the full length of the kenmore property.

    Interestingly, there was an officer checking on people in classes at kenmore after the accident.

  • Hi folks…maybe you could realize that crosswalks are not magical walkways AND even when people don’t use them they are still people – i.e. soft squishy PEOPLE which are no match for your car!

    • LL

      A person crossing at some random point in the road after dark might very well not be visible to cars until it’s too late to avoid them. Let’s use a little common sense, walk half a block to the crosswalks at the controlled intersection where you can safely due so when the traffic lights permit.

    • Caat Grrrl

      Not magical walkways, but places where a driver might expect a soft squishy person to be stepping into the street and thereby look out more carefully for them. Drivers on a 40mph thoroughfare cannot stop for someone crossing in the middle of the intersection.

      • JMB

        Speed limit’s 30 mph on Carlin Springs – but point taken.

  • driverjoe

    Unfortunately pedestrians have been conditioned to think that they always have the right of way. And while they do in certain places it does not mean they have an invisible shield that will stop a car from hitting them. I see this behavior all the time on S George Mason road at the Army Readiness Center cross walk. These guys walk right out in front of cars because “they have the right”. The crosswalk is poorly lit and I’ve seen and hear screeching tires because of it. It just takes some common sense!

    • Tabs

      I see parents crossing with their little kids trailing behind out of sight. What happened to the handholding rule?

      I saw a man in Philadelphia crossing with his little boy, who did not want to hold hands, and dad said “that’s the rule!” as a car went screeching past them within inches.

    • YTK

      driver Joe– i’ve had them walk right in front of the path of my car (going below the speed limit) thinking that i can stop on a dime. I DO stop (screech!) but they also get one helluva horn blast.

  • Newer Arlingtoninan

    The problem is that Carlin Springs Rd does not have enough crosswalks. They are few and far between and not always in the most usable locations. Living off CS, I know that the drivers are crazy fast on this road. More stoplights would help to enforce a more pedestrian-friendly traffic pattern.

    • nom de guerre

      I live off of Carlin Springs in the area of this pedestrian accident and the problem is that people don’t use the three existing crosswalks on Carlin Springs in the 5 blocks between Route 50 and South 5th Road. I have personally witnessed two other pedestrians being struck in this stretch of road in the past year in daylight and they both involved people crossing from the Kenmore Middle School side to get to the 7-11.

      • Herman

        I was going to say, there are a good number of crosswalks along there, as well as traffic signals. Even if you choose to jaywalk, at least there is the chance to use the traffic light cycles to create a safer time to cross CS.

  • South Awwlington

    I did drive past the scene enroute to Home Depot, thinking it would have been cleared at 9:30 ish. It wasn’t. There was a mini-van at the scene (headed north on Carlin Springs) in the southbound lane, facing the school.

    I don’t know the details beyond that. As someone who drives, walks and takes transit…it is very hard to see pedestrians dressed in dark clothes, even when crossing at a crosswalk. It is far more difficult to see them when cresting a hill, rounding a bend, etc in a poorly lit area.

    Hope this guy is OK. Be smart and use your head when crossing the street or tangling with any object larger than you and moving faster than you.

  • Disgusted by Comments

    After reading most of these comments, I am disgusted to read that people are blaming the victim. Regardless of whether pedestrians are crossing at a crosswalk or not, it is the responsibility of drivers to drive with caution and yield to pedestrians at ALL times. I am a colleague of the gentleman who got run over. He is a dedicated Arlington Public School teacher with a wife and two children. I am sad to hear the comments and the lack of sympathy for this tragedy.

    • Indisgustion

      Actually, if your friend was negligent in failing to cross at a crosswalk and instead crossing in the middle of a road, then the true “victim” in this whole tragedy is the person who hit him. Pedestrians do not have the right to walk into the middle of a road and expect that traffic will come to a standstill to accommodate them.

      Code of Virginia § 46.2-926. Pedestrians stepping into highway where they cannot be seen.

      No pedestrian shall step into a highway open to moving vehicular traffic at any point between intersections where his presence would be obscured from the vision of drivers of approaching vehicles by a vehicle or other obstruction at the curb or side.

      • Witness

        It would help the pedestrian to be seen, or see the approaching car, if the vehicle had it’s headlights on. Its also colder then a witches titty out, how about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes for once, ever take a shortcut before?

        I love how a simple act of jaywalking seems to justify a person dying. No sense of value in peoples lives anymore.

        • Buckingham Beauty

          No sense of responsibility in people’s lives anymore, either. You’re apparently trying to exonerate the pedestrian for a stupid, irresponsible, and illegal act. OK, yes, as a pedestrian, might take a shortcut across a little-traveled road (say, a little neighborhood street), and I know the risks. But NEVER on a road like Carlin Springs, and especially not in the dark. That’s just plain stupid and carless, and stupid actions do run that risk of getting you hurt. Whether the driver didn’t have his headlights on or not doesn’t reduce the stupidness of the act of crossing that road at that hour. It may be his fault for hitting the pedestrian, but the pedestrian was as fault for being where he should not have been. As far as I see it, it’s double fault.

          I walk 6 miles a day in this witches’ titty cold, so I know exactly how cold it is out there. But you know what? A healthy sense of self-preservation and common sense should override a sense of convenience. A pedestrian must, must operate under the assumption that drivers won’t see you or do dumb things like not have their headlights on (I see this all the time, so I’m aware of it), and should plan their actions accordingly.

      • whaaat?

        The “true victim” is the driver who hit the pedestrian???? Check yourself out, dude.

      • Kenmore Teacher

        The pedestrian was not J-walking. It is an intersection with handicap curb cuts. The man was returning to Kenmore from 7-11 , where his wife teaches, he made it across three lanes but was struck as he was about to finish his crossing. Cars exit rout 50 less than 30 feet away and speed down Carlin Springs Rd. The man’s head went into the windsheild of the car that struck him, as the driver slammed on the brakes, the man flew of of the hood and landed infront of the car on the street. The police markings are visible still today, including the body outline. It is disturbing.

        So to clarify: he was NOT between intersections, although this intersection does not have a marked crosswalk.

        Drivers need to slow down in any area that has high pedestrian traffic, especially infront of a school such as Kenmore. Kenmore is used by both the county and the community every day from early am to late pm.

        I cannot be certain that speed was a factor in this accident, but the police are investigating the drivers speed. Although it is tragic for the driver to critically injur a human, and perhaps kill him, he is in critical condition and may die, the driver may possibly be guilty of negligent homicide. That is unforgivable.

        • Chris

          His wife is not a teacher and does not work at Kenmore. She works at Carlin Springs.

    • Jackfan

      While I am sorry your friend is hurt and hope he recovers i think it’s a huge overreach to call comments on this disgusting. Huge overreach. There are crosswalks for a reason and a person should know better than walk out into a heavily trafficked area at night. Foolish and irresponsible. And – if the driver was obeying the rules – I truly feel so very sorry for him/her. Laws are on the books for a reason.

      • drax

        Legally, there is a crosswalk at every intersection, marked or not.

        I don’t think it’s safe at all, and I avoid using unmarked crosswalks, but legally thats’ how it works.

        According to the poster above, who seems to know, he was crossing legally.

  • LS

    Any update on the teacher? Can you tell us what he teaches at Kenmore? Wondering if he’s one of my son’s teachers.

    • NArlmom

      wow, I’m kind of surprised the school did not send out notification to parents that a teacher was involved. Seems kind of a traumatic thing for the kids there. They might want to offer counseling too.

      • CW

        Perhaps there is an ongoing police investigation or other reason why they could not?

    • Anon

      He works at the Career Center.

  • Drove Right Passed it

    I actually drove right passed the accident as it happened. My lights caught the guy as he hit the floor, I didn’t even see that he had crossed the lanes in front of me at all. He was dressed in dark clothing (dark red hoodie and jeans) in a very dark area – the next set of street lights were at the 7-11 where I pulled over to call 911. If I couldn’t see him there is no way the other driver saw him as they came up, especially when someone darts out on the street where you don’t expect it. I feel terrible for the guy and the driver, neither clearly expected this to happen.

  • Clarification

    The injured man is not a Kenmore teacher; he just lives near the school. He teaches at one of the Arlington High Schools.

  • Scooter

    I am terribly sorry to learn of this accident and wish the best for all involved. We live off of Carlin Springs Road, a little more than halfway between where this occured and Glebe Road. Over the past nine years, I’ve heard of and seen more pedestrian accidents than I can count, and I’ve almost been struck while crossing with a crosswalk and a signal. I would like to learn more about the county’s efforts to address this safety issue.

    • let’s try empathy

      The COUNTY or the state or the government-in general is not going to save the day. There is no one else responsible for you and your safety, but you. When things happen the first thing everyone wants to do is assign blame…to someone else. Laws or no laws, ultimately you are responsible for you. Who cares if legally you were right or wrong if you’re dead?

      If a driver cannot see you it doesn’t matter if you’re in a cross walk or not. If you get hit you will still get hurt. Don’t put others in charge of YOUR safety; especially when they’re driving a two-ton car. Have your head up!

      That being said, pedestrians are people for goodness sake! If you’re a driver, even if someone is out of a crosswalk, hit your breaks not your horn.

      There are no laws that will make people completely safe. The only way Arlington will be COMPLETELY safe is if there are no more careless people or careless moments. That’s never going to happen.

      Finally, the man that was hit doesn’t deserve to die…or even to be hurt. The driver doesn’t deserve to have this on his conscience. I agree that the comments here ARE pretty disgusting…as usual.

  • Kelly

    The lights on Carlin Springs are off and on my husband has sent many emails to Arlington trying to get them fix because he almost get hit in the same location. Maybe NOW Arlington will fix the lights.

  • Clarification

    He is a special projects coordinator at Arlington Career Center. He name is David Welsh.

    • ilovearlingtonv

      OMG I’ve known him for years

  • Zawad

    My friend was going to his brother’s basketball practice last night when this happens. I go to Kenmore Middle School by the way. I checked this website during my 3rd period and was shocked.

  • bluedog

    I live right there 🙁 I’m scared.

  • Witness

    Blame the pedestrian as usual, real classy folks. I was walking past as the scene was being documented by police. The skidmarks were fairly long and only the amber lights on the front of the car were on, no main headlights. Let’s get all the facts before we go blaming the pedestrian as usual.

  • Anon

    Southbound Carlin Springs Road has an odd bump or rise in the road about about 1st Street South which makes it hard to see south down the road. If I’m turning into the neighborhood, instead of turning on 1st Street South, I always go one more block to 2nd Street South because my view is not blocked by that bump or rise in the road.

  • I hope that all recover from this and it will be a lesson for all of us.

  • Pedestrians stay on crosswalks. Drivers turn on your headlights.

    • unmarked crosswalk

      The location is an intersection. It just is not marked with white lines.

  • Karen

    He’s teaching Robotics and Cyber Security at the Career Center on Saturdays. We received a call that the instructor had been in an accident and the class was cancelled. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. Very sad.

  • Not the first at this spot

    There is a cutaway for wheelcheer accessibility at this location. It is a “T” intersection. I do not know why the county has not painted crosswalk lines at this location. Over the past several years, there have been several pedestrians struck by motorists, some of them students. Furthermore, I have seen cars speeding down Carlin Springs Rd. The county is aware of the speeding issue and the unsafe intersection and has yet to take action.


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