Arlington, VA

(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) A portion of the northbound GW Parkway will be closed for most of the day Saturday, as crews remove two vehicles that ran down embankments and crashed near the river.

From a National Park Service press release:

On Saturday, March 20, 2021, the National Park Service (NPS) will close both northbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway to remove two abandoned vehicles that are below the road near the Potomac River. The NPS expects to close the lanes between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Spout Run Parkway to Chain Bridge Road, VA 123.  The southbound lanes will remain open.  The NPS will also temporarily close parts of the Potomac Heritage Trail near the vehicles for up to half an hour at a time while the work is happening.

The first crash happened on June 7, 2020, when a sedan ended up near the banks of the Potomac after running down an embankment north of Windy Run. The driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries; he was able to get out of the smashed car and was transported to an ambulance via D.C. fire boat.

The sedan has remained where it came to rest, along the Potomac Heritage Trail, since then while officials mulled how to remove it.

The second crash, according to NPS, happened on January 25 near the first scenic overlook in Arlington. The driver of that car was also not seriously injured.

“Both accidents were unusual,” the Park Service said, though there have been other recent incidents involving vehicles that ran far off the Parkway.

On Jan. 12 two people were rescued after a crash in which two vehicles careened off the Parkway near I-395 and ended up in the Potomac. Three days later, another car ran off the road and over an embankment near the second scenic overlook in Arlington. Inside, first responders found the body of D.C. police officer Jeffrey Smith, who was hurt while clashing with rioters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6; he was driving to work on Jan. 15 when he took his own life.

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