Arlington, VA

The National Park Service has a 3,000 pound problem: a car that ran so far off the GW Parkway that it wound up near the banks of the Potomac River.

The crash happened the afternoon of Sunday, June 7, just north of Windy Run in Arlington County.

Arlington firefighters, along with the D.C. police Harbor Patrol Unit, the D.C. fire boat and the U.S. Park Police helicopter responded to the crash scene after a report of a vehicle travelling in the northbound lanes that went over an embankment.

“Upon our arrival our incident commanders established a unified command with all agencies and our personnel located the vehicle near the water’s edge, approximately 60 feet down the embankment,” ACFD spokesman Capt. Justin Tirelli told ARLnow earlier this month.

“The driver had already extricated himself from the vehicle and we confirmed that he was the only occupant of the vehicle,” Tirelli continued. “ACFD medical personnel treated the patient and transferred care from the Virginia shoreline to the DCFD fire boat, where he was transported with non-life threatening injuries to a waiting ambulance on the D.C. shoreline.”

Hikers on the rocky Potomac Heritage Trail have since been encountering the startling sight of the crashed car, not knowing for sure whether anyone is inside.

“I was hiking the Potomac Heritage Trail this weekend and there is a car down there that was not there a few weeks ago,” local resident Melissa Mathews said in an email to ARLnow earlier this week. “It must have been driven off of the GW Parkway that runs (far, far) above the trail. The car has been tagged by either insurance or police so I assume there is no body inside.”

The crashed vehicle is located on national parkland, within the confines of the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. Eduardo Delgado tells ARLnow that the car will be removed, but authorities are still trying to figure out how to do that, exactly.

“The National Park Service is still trying to determine the best course of action for the vehicle’s removal,” Delgado said.

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(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) A North Carolina man was killed in a crash in the Shirlington area late last night.

The single-vehicle crash happened on the Shirlington Circle ramp above I-395, just before midnight, and drew a large emergency response. Virginia State Police say a 55-year-old man died from injuries sustained in the crash, and a female passenger was taken to a local trauma center with non-life-threatening injuries.

“At 11:48 p.m. Sunday night, Virginia State Police Trooper M.I. Campbell responded to a single-vehicle crash in Arlington County,” VSP said in a statement Monday afternoon. “A Lexus sedan struck a jersey wall on the Shirlington Circle ramp to the northbound I-395 Express Lanes. The 55-year-old male driver from North Carolina was transported to Inova Alexandria Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”

The crash remains under investigation, a state police spokeswoman said.

VDOT is planning safety improvements to the Shirlington Circle interchange.

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The eastbound lanes of I-66 are blocked near the N. Ohio Street overpass due to the aftermath of a high-speed police chase.

Initial reports suggest that Virginia State Police troopers were chasing a vehicle involved in a felony hit-and-run, with speeds in excess of 100 mph.

The driver crashed near Ohio Street and was briefly trapped in the vehicle. State police, Arlington police and firefighters are currently on scene. The Fairfax County Police helicopter is also overhead.

All eastbound lanes are blocked and police are working to divert eastbound traffic onto N. Sycamore Street in the East Falls Church area. Drivers stuck behind the crash are being directed around it, through a work zone.

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Morning Notes

APS Statement on George Floyd — “The tragic death of George Floyd and many others before him, as well as the events that have unfolded since, are bringing into stark focus the pervasive injustice and inequality that African Americans face every day in our society from systemic and institutionalized racism. As Superintendent and the School Board, we acknowledge the anger and hurt that our APS community and the nation are experiencing, especially our African American community.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Fort Myer on High Alert — “The Pentagon has ordered forces and bases in the Washington D.C. area to ‘Force Protection Condition Charlie,’ a threat condition that indicates ‘likely’ targeting of military forces and or terrorist action and the second highest alert level available.” [Newsweek]

Crash on George Mason Drive — From Tuesday afternoon: “Lanes blocked on S. George Mason Drive near the intersection with Columbia Pike due to crash. One person with minor injuries was reported to be trapped in a vehicle, requiring extrication.” [Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Arlington Waiving Affordable Housing Loan Payments — “The Board approved allowing borrowers of County Multifamily Revolving Loan Funds the option of waiving their 2020 loan payments if they commit to using the money to address rent and vacancy losses and emergency needs that are associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.” [Arlington County]

County Delaying Purchase of Property Near Shirlington — “In order to keep their options open, the Arlington County Board will make another $175,000 payment to hold open the possibility of acquiring two parcels adjacent to the Arlington Cultural Affairs facility in the Four Mile Run corridor.” [InsideNova]

Masks Required at County Courthouse — “Beginning May 22, 2020, cloth facial coverings will be available for all people who do not have one as they enter the Arlington County Courthouse, Sheriff Beth Arthur announced. This comes after the Honorable Judge Newman, Arlington County Chief Judge, ordered that all patrons who enter the Courthouse will be required to wear a cloth face covering or face mask.” [Arlington County]

Chamber Supports Extra Outdoor Dining Space — “Allowing restaurants to use parking lots and street parking spaces for additional outdoor capacity, similar to how they have been allowed to reserve parking space for carryout patrons, will provide additional flexibility for socially distanced service. We also encourage the County to consider block closures where restaurants may set up tables on a pedestrianized right of way to expand overall capacity.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

Pair in Stolen SUV Crash into Parked Cars — “The victim’s Ford F-150 was parked when he observed the unknown suspect enter it and and drive away. An officer en route to the call for service observed the F-150 and a Toyota Land Cruiser in the area travelling at high rates of speed. The officer attempted to effect a traffic stop on the F-150, however, it the driver refused to stop and fled onto I-395 NB. The Land Cruiser, which had previously been reported stolen out of Arlington, was later located, unoccupied, after it crashed into multiple parked vehicles.” [Arlington County]

Fund Established for Gutshall’s Kids — “A memorial fund to support the education of the late County Board member Erik Gutshall’s children has been established… The fund was established by a ‘generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous.'” [InsideNova]

Nearby: Fairfax Parks Reopening — “The Park Authority has begun reopening of parking lots and parks in the park system to be open for the Memorial Day weekend. Park Authority staff will begin the process of clearing barricades and opening parking lots at all 427 parks for our community on Wednesday, May 20 through Friday, May 22. These parks will reopen for limited use in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines.” [Fairfax County]

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The Arlington County Police Department is expanding its online reporting system, to allow more police reports to be filed online during the era of social distancing.

ACPD says members of the public can now file reports of minor property damage crashes online, instead of needing to do so in person. The online reporting system has also now been translated into Spanish, the police department says.

“Out of an abundance of caution and to help mitigate and reduce any unnecessary exposure and spread of COVID-19, ACPD asks that the public report applicable non-emergency incidents using the online reporting system,” the police website says. “Officers continue to proactively patrol the County and respond to in-progress crimes and emergency calls where there is an immediate threat to life, health or property.”

More from a police press release:

The Arlington County Police Department is announcing the expansion of its online police reporting system. The system update builds upon the County’s comprehensive effort to improve service delivery through its website and online platforms to better meet the needs of our constituents.

Updates to the online reporting system include:

Expanded Reporting Capabilities: The addition of crash reporting enables you to file a property damage report online, instead of completing the report in-person or submitting it by mail. The following types of crashes can now be filed online:

  • Crash – Hit and Run: Damage caused by another vehicle in which the driver should have left information or fled the scene without stopping to provide information.
  • Crash – No Injury (less than $1,500 damage): You are involved in a minor crash and need to report the information to police for insurance purposes.
  • Crash – Private Property: You are involved in a minor crash on private property or you are the owner of the property.

Crashes with injury, or with more than $1,500 in damage should be reported to police by calling 703-558-2222 or 911 in an emergency.

Read More

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Old Dominion Drive is closed in both directions because of a crash at a particularly dangerous intersection in the Rock Spring neighborhood.

The North Arlington arterial street is closed between Williamsburg Blvd and Rock Spring Road, following a crash that happened around 1:30 p.m. Police are on scene directing traffic.

A Mercedes SUV collided with a Honda SUV at Old Dominion and Little Falls Road, a crash-prone intersection that recently added rush hour turn restrictions in an attempt to cut down on wrecks. The force of the crash sent the Mercedes careening into the front yard of a home, knocking down a county light pole in the process.

No serious injuries were reported. There’s no word on how soon Old Dominion Drive might reopen.

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Morning Notes

Northam Announces COVID Changes — Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesdays that, starting today, Virginia residents can start having nonemergency surgeries and dental procedures again. The governor also announced that the state Dept. of Health will soon start releasing ZIP code-level coronavirus case data. [WTOP, @kamamasters/Twitter]

County Announces New Housing Director — “Arlington County has selected Anne Venezia to be the County’s new Housing Director… She most recently served six months as the Acting Housing Director and was the Housing Finance Manager for four years prior. Venezia joined Arlington County in 2008.” [Arlington County]

Arlington Pushing for More Census Participation — “Arlington government officials say the county’s census-response rate has passed 60 percent, and local efforts will now be made to reach out to low-response hotspots across the community… the 2010 response rate of 74 percent [was] slightly below the overall Virginia average that year.” [InsideNova]

County’s Memorial Page for Erik Gutshall — Arlington County has established a “Remembering Erik” page on its website, memorializing the late County Board member Erik Gutshall, who passed away earlier this month from brain cancer. [Arlington County]

Library Seeks Material for New Archive — “Arlington Public Library announces the COVID-19 Archives project, designed to create a comprehensive picture of Arlington during an extraordinary period in our history. The Center for Local History (CLH) seeks donations of journals, photos, and objects to help document this time of difficulty and struggle, but also of resilience and hope.” [Arlington County]

Overnight Crash on Carlin Springs RoadUpdated at 9:10 a.m. — “Video appears to show a car crash took down electric lines on Carlin Springs Rd near 7th St. S.” [@statter911/Twitter]

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(Updated at 1:25 p.m.) The person behind the wheel of a car that careened down a hill and onto N. Glebe Road is now facing a criminal charge.

The crash happened this past Wednesday night near the Old Glebe Road overpass. It left the vehicle’s two passengers trapped and seriously injured, including one with life-threatening injuries. Firefighters used hydraulic tools to remove them from the heavily-damaged vehicle.

As of today both were still in the hospital, with one listed in stable condition and the other in critical condition, according to Arlington County Police.

Police say the driver — who walked away from the crash and suffered only minor injuries — has been charged with driving under the age of 21 after illegally consuming alcohol, a misdemeanor. The driver’s identity “is not releasable… in accordance to Virginia law,” according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage, implying that he or she is under the age of 18.

“This remains an active criminal investigation,” Savage said. “Anyone with information related to this incident and/or personal surveillance that may assist the investigation is asked to contact Detective J. Cox of the Critical Accident Team at 703-228-0491 or [email protected]

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(Updated at 10:30 p.m.) N. Glebe Road is blocked between Walker Chapel and Chain Bridge by a serious crash.

The single-vehicle crash happened shortly after 7:30 p.m. and drew a large rescue response. Firefighters extricated at two injured people from a heavily-damaged car, near the Military Road/Old Glebe Road overpass.

There were a total of three vehicle occupants and all three were injured, according to an Arlington County Fire Department spokesman. The driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries, a passenger suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries, and another passenger is fighting for his life with critical injuries, said Capt. Justin Tirelli.

All three were transported to local hospitals. A crowd gathered on the bridge as police interviewed witnesses.

After the crash, debris could be seen on the hillside leading down to Glebe from Old Glebe. Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage later confirmed to ARLnow that the car had rolled down the embankment.

The road remains closed as a result of the cleanup and investigation. Drivers are being encouraged to avoid the area.

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A driver led Virginia State Police on a brief chase through part of Pentagon City and Crystal City Sunday evening.

The pursuit happened around 5:30 p.m., when a trooper tried to conduct a traffic stop on Army Navy Drive near the Pentagon City mall. The driver tried to speed off but a short time later crashed on the 200 block of 12th Street S. in Crystal City, according to VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

More from VSP:

At approximately 5:30 p.m. Sunday (April 19), a Virginia State Police trooper attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a vehicle in the 900 block of Army Navy Drive. The vehicle refused to stop and a pursuit was initiated. The suspect vehicle’s driver lost control and crashed in the 200 block of 12th Street in Arlington County. The driver then attempted to flee the scene on foot, but was quickly apprehended without incident. The driver was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of a minor injury sustained in the crash. State police charged the driver with one felony count of eluding police.

The name of the suspect and the initial reason for the traffic stop was not immediately available.

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