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BREAKING: A woman has died after a hit-and-run crash Monday evening

(Updated at 11:55 a.m.) A woman has died after being struck by a driver who then fled the scene, according to police.

Viviana Oxlaj Pérez was walking near the Thomas Jefferson Community Center around 7:30 p.m. Monday when the driver of a truck struck her and then drove off, a family member told ARLnow.

Police and medics quickly responded and treated the critically injured woman, but she later died at the hospital.

Police closed the intersection of 2nd Street S. and S. Glebe Road, in the Arlington Heights neighborhood, for about two hours to investigate the hit-and-run crash.

An online fundraiser was established for Oxlaj Pérez early Tuesday morning by her daughter, Hilary Lopez Oxlaj.

Reached by phone, Lopez Oxlaj said her mother was walking across the street with her bike, on her way to the nearby 7-Eleven store, when the driver blew through a stop sign at the intersection and struck her.

Lopez Oxlaj said her mother, who was 53, had lived near the Arlington Career Center for 17 years and was known as the “lady with the bike” who sells cold drinks and ice cream to soccer players at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center fields.

“She was a mother who worked very hard,” she said. “Everyone knew her as a very kind woman.”

Oxlaj Pérez was a married mother of six and frequent churchgoer, who would often donate food to people who were struggling, her daughter said.

Lopez Oxlaj hopes that her mother’s generosity is returned so the family can afford funeral expenses.

“We are collecting funds to… send my mother’s body to Guatemala,” Lopez Oxlaj wrote on the GoFundMe page. “She was a very hardworking lady fighting every day… Please ask for your help, it will be a great blessing.”

As of 11 a.m. the page had raised nearly $3,000 of its $25,000 goal from a few dozen donors.

Police said Tuesday morning that officers arrested the alleged driver, a 62-year-old Arlington man, after finding the striking vehicle about a mile away from the crash scene. Alcohol is “believed to be a factor in the crash,” according to police. The man is now facing numerous charges.

More from an ACPD press release, below.

The Arlington County Police Department has arrested a 62-year-old Arlington man following a fatal hit and run pedestrian crash in the Arlington Heights neighborhood. Julio David Villazon is charged with Involuntary Manslaughter, Hit and Run, Driving Under the Influence and Driving Revoked (x2). He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

At approximately 7:32 p.m. on August 1, police were dispatched to 2nd Street S. at S. Old Glebe Road for the report of a crash with injuries involving a pedestrian. Upon arrival, officers located the unresponsive pedestrian in the roadway. She was transported to an area hospital where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased. She has been identified as Viviana Oxlaj Lopez, 52, of Arlington, VA.

The preliminary investigation indicates the driver of the striking vehicle, Julio David Villazon, was traveling on S. Old Glebe Road when he turned onto 2nd Street S. and struck the pedestrian as she was crossing the roadway. He then fled the scene in the striking vehicle. Officers developed a possible suspect and vehicle description based on witness interviews and evidence located at the scene. Officers located the driver at his residence in the 2500 block of 4th Street S. and took him into custody without incident. His vehicle was subsequently located in the area of 8th Street S. and S. George Mason Drive. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact Detective D. Gilmore at [email protected] or 703-228-4049. Information may also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.

Other recent, serious pedestrian-involved crashes in Arlington include fatal crashes in Pentagon City and at a State Department training facility, and crashes that resulted in critical injuries in Clarendon and along I-395.

ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed to ARLnow that Monday’s crash was the first pedestrian fatality of the year in Arlington and the second since the start of 2020, excluding the fatal crash on federal property.

Arlington County is in the second year of its Vision Zero action plan to eliminate deaths and severe injuries from crashes.

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