Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

List of County Gov’t Changes — “With cases in the region, including Arlington, we are taking critical steps to slow down the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), as the health and safety of our employees and our community is our top priority. While we will be making changes to some programs and services, we will continue to operate essential government services for our residents and businesses.” [Arlington County]

Visits Cancelled at County Jail — “All Professional Visits will be non-contact for a minimum of 30 days. All Personal Visits will be cancelled for a minimum of 30 days. All programs will be cancelled for a minimum of 30 days.” [Arlington County]

Jury Trials Postponed — “As of March 15, the Circuit Court has postponed all jury trials & released witnesses from subpoenas through March 31. Other hearings & sentencing dockets are also postponed. See attached. Arraignments & bond motions will still be heard.” [Twitter]

Metro Reduces Service — “As of 2 p.m., Friday, March 13, Metro has further escalated its response to Phase 3 of its Pandemic Flu Plan. Phase 3 is the highest level of response and will include all subsequent mitigation steps required during the public health emergency… Monday-Friday: Trains will operate every 12 minutes on each line throughout the day. The rail system will maintain normal hours, opening at 5 a.m.” [WMATA]

Visitor Restrictions at Va. Hospital Center — “Effective March 12, we have implemented new visitation restrictions to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff from the spread of COVID-19.” [Instagram]

Restaurant Delivering Free Meals — “Between the empty grocery store shelves, scary headlines, and mass closures, it’s hard not to feel like the world is ending. Which is why Medium Rare owner Mark Bucher wanted to do something to make people’s lives a little easier. So yesterday, he posted a message on Twitter: If anyone over the age of 70 needed a meal, his restaurant would make sure they got one.” [Washingtonian]

Few Crowds at Pentagon City Mall — The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall was “almost dead” at noon on Saturday as most shoppers sayed away. Meanwhile, a reader took a video of people in full body suits in the Victoria’s Secret store; it’s unclear whether they were cleaning the store or otherwise. [Twitter, Twitter]

Crash on N. Glebe Road Saturday — A crash at N. Glebe Road and Pershing Drive sent a car careening into a lamp post, over a sidewalk and smashing into the parking lot of the Buckingham Center strip mall on Saturday. [Twitter]

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Wakefield High School’s “Warrior Nation” and other friends of recent grad Truc Tran are rallying online to raise money online for the medical care of a student who was badly injured in a car crash last month.

Tran graduated from Wakefield in 2019 and is a freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) studying biochemistry. Her friend Ileana Mendez, who created the GoFundMe for Tran’s family three days ago, said Tran excelled academically and is kind and sincere.

According to the GoFundMe page:

On February 23rd, 2020, Truc was driving back to VCU from her home in Arlington when she was involved in a terrible car accident along with her roommate and her friend. Truc was laying down on the back seat, with no seatbelt on. She suffered the worst injuries out of everyone in the car and had to be taken [to] a different hospital.

The page says that Tran suffered severe brain damage, collapsed lungs, and a broken spine. She was admitted to the cardiovascular ICU unit and given sedation.

“Truc is now at the Trauma ICU, being closely monitored and everyone is waiting for more updates on her condition,” Mendez said on the page. “She was slowly taken off the sedation and was able to open her eyes and move her shoulders and head a little. However, since the brain damage was too severe, the doctors are unsure if Truc will be able to be more responsive than how she is right now — only able to blink, move her fingers, toes, and her shoulders.”

Mendez said the broken spine will require additional surgery on top or two previous operations that attempted to fix the damage to her lungs.

“Truc’s family needs as much help as possible,” Mendez said. “Her parents are unable to work in this situation and they still have to take care of Truc’s little sister. It would be extremely appreciated if you could donate as much as you can in order to be able to cover for Truc’s stay at the hospital and for the recovery that lays ahead. The goal is to reach $500,000 as soon as possible, but whatever amount is reached we’ll be grateful for.”

As of 2 p.m. the fundraiser had raised more than $18,000.

The page has been shared throughout the Wakefield High School community.

Photo via GoFundMe

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(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) Columbia Pike was blocked by a crash at S. Scott Street, near the Wellington Apartments, Thursday afternoon.

The crash happened around 2:45 p.m. Initial reports suggest that a vehicle flipped on its roof and one person was removed from it by firefighters.

A traffic light was felled by the crash. So far there’s no word on injuries nor on what caused the crash.

As of 3:45 p.m., one lane in each direction had reopened, but there was still debris in the center of the roadway, including the fallen traffic signal.

Arlington County turned off three traffic cameras in the area, thus deliberately hindering ability of ARLnow and other news outlets to report on the crash. The cameras remained off, even after the patient was extricated.

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Update at 3:15 p.m. — All lanes are back open.

Earlier: The northbound lanes of S. Glebe Road are closed at S. Lang Street after a reported crash.

Police are working to reopen at least one of the lanes. For the time being, drivers are being detoured around the closure.

There was no immediate word as to the nature of the crash.

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(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) The driver of a landscaping truck, accused of ramming at least three vehicles, a bus stop and a house in Lyon Park earlier this week, is now facing criminal charges.

Arlington County Police say 33-year-old Jose Gomez of Gaithersburg, Maryland was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence and Driving with Open Container of Alcohol after Monday’s incident on N. Barton Street.

From an ACPD crime report:

At approximately 3:29 p.m. on March 2, police responded to the 700 block of N. Barton Street for the report of a vehicle crash with property damage. Upon arrival, it was determined that the driver of the striking vehicle allegedly hit a parked vehicle, overcorrected and then drove through a bus stop, a County light pole, metal trash container, and into two parked vehicles. The force of the impact sent one of the parked vehicles into a residence, causing structural damage. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene. Officers administered field sobriety tests and executed a warrant for a blood draw. Jose Manuel Carranza Gomez, 33, of Gaithersburg, MD was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence and Driving with Open Container of Alcohol.

The crashes destroyed the bus stop near N. Pershing Drive and, we’re told, might have caused foundation damage to the house, prompting a building inspector to place a large, orange sticker on the door.

Today a blue tarp covered the spot where a car was pushed partially into the house.

A short video of part of the incident, shared with ARLnow, shows the truck backing up onto the sidewalk and then pulling forward again, as residents yell at the driver to stop.

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A driver in a landscaping truck smashed a bus stop and several cars on N. Barton Street in Lyon Park Monday afternoon.

As of 4:45 p.m., Barton Street was closed between N. Pershing Drive and 9th Street N. as a result of the incident.

Witnesses tell ARLnow that the truck was being driven erratically and began to crash into cars and through the bus stop. A video shows it slowly backing onto the sidewalk, at a 45 degree angle to the street.

“It’s scary,” a crying child can be heard saying as the truck backs up and then pulls forward again.

“Hey stop, stop,” a woman yells. Finally, witnesses said, the driver stopped and police arrived.

In all, some 4-5 vehicles appear to have been damaged, including one pressed partially into the side of a house. The glass bus stop was completely demolished, and a public trash can smashed.

Police could be seen conducting a sobriety test on the driver as of around 4:30 p.m.

The truck is branded as belonging to Greenlink, a regional landscape design, maintenance and tree care company.

Vernon Miles contributed to this report. Bus stop photo via Google Maps.

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All lanes of westbound Route 50 are blocked at the crash-prone intersection with Park Drive in the Arlington Forest area.

The crash happened in rainy weather around 8:30 a.m. Traffic cameras show at least two vehicles that appear to be involved, including one in the middle of the westbound lanes — which firefighters are pushing off to the side.

Traffic is currently being diverted at the crash scene, but at least one lane is expected to reopen shortly.

There’s no word on injuries.

Update at 8:55 a.m. — One lane has reopened while first responders await tow trucks to remove the damaged vehicles from the side of the road.

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A 69-year-old Alexandria man is facing a felony charge after police say a minor, two-vehicle crash led to a physical altercation along Lee Highway.

The crash happened shortly before noon this past Friday — Valentine’s Day — near the intersection of Lee Highway and N. George Mason Drive. In its aftermath, numerous people called police to report a physical fight in the street.

Police responded and determined that one of the drivers punched a window on the other car several times, then “produced a knife and allegedly attempted to strike the victim,” according to Arlington County Police. The suspect was arrested and charged with Attempted Malicious Wounding.

More from a new ACPD crime report:

ATTEMPTED MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2020-02140133, N. George Mason Drive at Lee Highway. At approximately 11:40 a.m. on February 14, police were dispatched to the report of a fight. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim and suspect were involved in a minor vehicle crash when the suspect began yelling obscenities towards the victim. The suspect then pulled his vehicle in front of the victim’s vehicle, exited and approached the victim. The suspect struck the victim’s window multiple times with a closed fist. The victim attempted to push the suspect away by opening his door, however, the suspect produced a knife and allegedly attempted to strike the victim. The victim was not injured. Ralph Graham, 69, of Alexandria, Va., was arrested and charged with Attempted Malicious Wounding.

ARLnow posted about the incident on Twitter at the time:

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A rental box truck ran off the side of Old Dominion Drive this afternoon, damaging a bench, a sign and a fence.

The crash happened shortly after 4 p.m., just west of the intersection of Old Dominion Drive and Williamsburg Blvd, in the Rock Spring neighborhood.

Traffic camera images show a yellow Penske rental truck on the sidewalk and a Metro bus stop sign on the ground. A black metal bench was also reportedly smashed, along with a fence and a tree in the yard adjacent to the sidewalk.

It’s not clear how the crash happened, nor whether any other vehicles were involved. No injuries have been reported. Police are on scene.

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A crash involving some 3-4 vehicles is currently blocking lanes on S. Glebe Road.

The multi-vehicle wreck was reported around 9:45 on S. Glebe Road near the Maserati dealership and the I-395 ramps. At least one lefthand lane is blocked in both directions at 26th Road S.

Police are on scene directing traffic, while medics evaluate at least one person for possible injuries.

Update at 11 a.m. — All lanes have reportedly reopened.

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Morning Notes

Never Ending Bike Rack Construction at EFC Metro — “Metro has been building a Bike & Ride facility at the East Falls Church Metro Station for nearly five years, and the project still is not finished. The covered bike shelter was supposed to open in December 2015, but Metro says due to ‘Numerous construction quality issues, including damage caused by a contractor repeatedly drilling into an underground duct bank, led to lengthy delays.'” [WJLA]

Another Sewage Release in Four Mile Run — “Avoid all contact with Four Mile Run south of 7th Street until further notice due to a sanitary sewage release. @ArlingtonDES crews are on scene investigating pipe’s condition.” [Twitter]

Delegate Wants to Retrocede Arlington to D.C. — Del. Dave LaRock (R) “said some counties and jurisdictions in the state ‘are becoming more like California and New York…’ [LaRock said he] could get behind a move to have more liberal jurisdictions such as Arlington and Alexandria become part of Washington, D.C.” [Winchester Star, Blue Virginia]

Weird Crash Leaves Car Hanging — “Rough night… at Columbia Pike and S. Dinwiddie Street.” [Twitter]

Cristol to Chair NVTC — “Arlington County Board member Katie Cristol has been tapped to chair the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission for the 2020 calendar year. She succeeds Matt Letourneau, a member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.” [InsideNova]

Marine Corps Marathon Bans Cheater — “The Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) recently concluded an investigation into the running history of a 55-year-old female participant at both the Marine Corps 17.75K and the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM). The research, including photographic evidence and timing data, indicates that the runner had cheated over multiple years by not running the entire course and then claiming the rewards of a finisher.” [Press Release]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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