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(Updated on 12/24/22) A serious crash blocked Langston Blvd at the intersection with N. Harrison Street.

Dispatchers received numerous calls about a head-on crash at the intersection around 2:15 p.m., according to scanner traffic. One driver was reported to be unconscious and in critical condition, though it was not immediately clear whether that was from the crash itself or a medical emergency.

The intersection, adjacent to the busy Lee-Harrison Shopping Center, was closed while police investigate and document the scene. It reopened around 4 p.m.

On Saturday, Arlington County police confirmed that a driver, age 84, suffered a medical emergency and was pronounced dead at a local hospital. From ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department is conducting a death investigation after a driver suffered an apparent medical emergency on Friday, December 23.

At approximately 2:12 p.m. on December 23, police were dispatched to the report of a crash with unknown conditions at the intersection of Langston Boulevard and N. Harrison Street. Upon arrival, officers located the two-involved vehicles in the westbound lanes of Langston Boulevard.

The preliminary investigation indicates the driver of the striking vehicle was traveling eastbound on Langston Boulevard when he suffered an apparent medical emergency before continuing into the westbound lanes of traffic and striking the other vehicle. Medics performed lifesaving measures before transporting the driver of the striking vehicle, an 84-year-old male, to an area hospital where he was pronounced deceased. No other injuries were reported. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine cause and manner of death.

This remains an active investigation. Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Tip Line at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

The man who struck and killed an elderly woman who was crossing Little Falls Road in a crosswalk has received a traffic ticket.

Arlington County police announced the charge Tuesday afternoon, after a month-long investigation, noting that “sun glare” may have prevented the driver of the striking SUV from clearly seeing the victim.

The fatal collision happened the morning of Saturday, Oct. 8 at the intersection of Little Falls Road and John Marshall Drive in the Williamsburg neighborhood.

“Following a comprehensive investigation, which included the review of crime scene evidence and witness interviews, sun glare was determined to be a contributing factor in the fatal crash while other factors, such as speed and alcohol, were ruled out,” police said today. “The driver of the striking vehicle, Kyle Pasternak, 59, of Arlington, VA, has been charged with Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian in a Crosswalk and released on a summons.”

The original ACPD press release about the crash is below.

The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a fatal pedestrian crash that occurred in the Williamsburg neighborhood on the morning of Saturday, October 8.

At approximately 9:01 a.m., police were dispatched to the report of a crash with injuries involving a pedestrian in the 5800 block of Little Falls Road. Upon arrival, officers located the pedestrian in the roadway suffering from serious injuries. She was transported by medics to the hospital where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased. She has been identified as Gwendolyn Hayes, 85, of Arlington, VA.

The preliminary investigation indicates the driver of the striking vehicle turned left from John Marshall Drive onto Little Falls Road and struck the pedestrian as she was crossing the roadway in the crosswalk. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact Detective D. Galiatsos at [email protected] or 703-228-4163. Information may also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.

Federal and state law enforcement have joined the investigation into a series of small explosions in the Arlington Forest neighborhood.

As ARLnow first reported, someone blew up a Little Free Library on the 100 block of N. Columbus Street and caused another small explosion at the nearby Lubber Run amphitheater early Wednesday morning.

The Arlington County Fire Department was joined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and Virginia State Police in processing evidence from the scene.

“The Fire Prevention Office is asking anyone that lives in the immediate area with home surveillance equipment to please review their video for any information that could assist with the investigation,” ACFD said Thursday evening.

The full ACFD press release is below.

At approximately 12:45 a.m. on Nov. 9, 2022, the Arlington County Fire Department responded to the 100 block of N. Columbus St. for a reported outside fire. When crews arrived, they found a small outside fire, as well as a destroyed privately owned exterior book collection box (or, a “Little Free Library”).

A Fire Marshal was requested to the scene and during the initial investigation, it was determined that the likely source of the fire and damage was caused by a small explosion.

While performing a canvass of the initial crime scene (100 block of N. Columbus St.), the Arlington County Fire Prevention Office located a second possible crime scene at the Lubber Run amphitheater. The scene was processed by the Arlington County Fire Prevention Office with assistance from the Arlington County Fire Department Bomb Squad, Virginia State Police (VSP), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Arlington County Fire Prevention Office will be sending collected evidence to the ATF lab for processing. This location, as well as the initial scene, are believed to be connected and all possible leads are being explored.

The investigation is still ongoing, and we will provide updates as they become available. There is currently no suspect(s) description.

The Fire Prevention Office is asking anyone that lives in the immediate area with home surveillance equipment to please review their video for any information that could assist with the investigation.

Anyone with information pertaining to this incident is encouraged to reach out by emailing [email protected] or by calling the Arlington County Police Department’s Tip Line at 703-228-4180.

Blown up Little Free Library in Arlington Forest (photo courtesy Michael Thomas)
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Blown up Little Free Library in Arlington Forest (photo courtesy Michael Thomas)

A Little Free Library was blown up in the Arlington Forest neighborhood overnight.

The explosion happened shortly after midnight on the 100 block of N. Columbus Street, near the intersection with the Arlington Blvd service road.

“When crews arrived, they found a small outside fire as well as a damaged privately owned outdoor book collection box,” Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Nate Hiner. “A Fire Marshal was requested to the scene to investigate.”

The suspect or suspects remain at large.

“The incident remains an open investigation and anyone with information pertaining to this incident is encouraged to reach out by emailing [email protected] or calling the Arlington County Police Department’s Tip Line at 703-228-4180,” Hiner said.

A resident tells ARLnow that at least one person who lived nearby ran to help control the fire.

“A neighbor went out with a fire extinguisher to control the resulting fire,” said Michael Thomas. “The Fire Department arrived shortly after to take over and ensure that the fire did not spread to [Lubber Run Park], which could have easily happened with the forest bed and understudy being so dry.”

“The explosion was followed by several others nearby,” including one that blew up another wooden fixture near the Lubber Run amphitheater, Thomas said.

Wooden fixture destroyed at the Lubber Run amphitheater (photo courtesy Michael Thomas)

Hiner said the fire department was not aware of additional explosions.

A message sent to a neighborhood listserv suggested that the Little Free Library explosion might have been caused by “a modified firework or mortar.”

Update at 4 p.m. — Fire Marshals and Virginia State Police are now on the scene of the apparent explosion at Lubber Run amphitheater, according to Thomas.

Update on 11/10/22 — The FBI and the ATF is also assisting with the investigation, the Arlington County Fire Department said in a press release.

Investigators on scene at the Lubber Run amphitheater (photo courtesy Michael Thomas)
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(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.

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Virginia State Police vehicle (photo by John Calhoun/JC Photography)

An Alexandria man has died after a crash last week on I-395 in Arlington.

The single-vehicle crash happened around 1:30 a.m. Friday. The driver was ejected from the vehicle and later died from his injuries.

More from Virginia State Police:

At 1:28 a.m. on Friday (June 10), Virginia State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on the on-ramp from southbound Washington Blvd. to southbound I-395.

A 2014 Chevrolet Camaro was on the ramp when it ran off the left side of the road, struck a curb and overturned.

The driver, Jose T. Villanueva, 31, of Alexandria, Va., was transported to George Washington Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle.

Speed and alcohol are being investigated as a contributing factor in the crash. The crash remains under investigation.

Several lanes of southbound I-395 were closed during the overnight hours as a result of the crash.

The woman who was injured after being pushed out of an SUV (via GoFundMe)

(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) The woman who was pushed out of a moving vehicle along Wilson Blvd near Ballston has a long road to recovery from her injuries, according to an online fundraiser.

The victim, 25, suffered a traumatic brain injury that required extensive surgery and left her in critical condition, her sister wrote on a GoFundMe page. Two weeks after the incident she was in stable condition but expected to require 6-12 months of recovery.

“The hospital bills and the rehab center will be very expensive, so we appreciate all the help we could get,” says the fundraising page, which has raised more than $40,000 towards its $50,000 goal.

The page notes that the victim is from Ukraine and her father is currently fighting in the war there.

“We are from Ukraine, so our dad is defending our homeland while our mom had to flee the war to Germany,” it says.

A GoFundMe spokesperson tells ARLnow that the fundraiser has been verified by the company’s Trust and Safety team.

The fundraiser sheds little light on the circumstances leading to the woman being pushed out of the vehicle.

“She was going home from a night out, but at 3am she was pushed out of a speeding car onto the [road] by an UNKNOWN DRIVER, and her phone was stolen,” it says. The Arlington County police crime report from last month said that a witness saw the woman pushed out of the passenger door of a black SUV, but no further description of the vehicle or the driver was given.

An ACPD spokeswoman said this morning that police are still investigating and seeking tips.

“The investigation into the incident is ongoing and detectives continue to follow up on investigative leads in the case,” said Ashley Savage. “No arrests have been made at this time.”

“Anyone with information that may assist with the investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected],” Savage added. “Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).”

The full fundraising message from the GoFundMe page is below.

Hi, my name is Polina – I’m Maryna’s sister.

On our dad’s 50-year anniversary, Maryna, 25 y.o., has been a victim of a SEVERE crime. She was going home from a night out, but at 3am she was pushed out of a speeding car onto the highway by an UNKNOWN DRIVER, and her phone was stolen. When the paramedics arrived, her skull bone was out in the open, she had bruises, scratches, and road rash all over her body… Doctors have performed two different surgeries on the brain right away – one lasted 5 hours, the other one lasted another 2,5 hours; and still she was in a critical condition.

Police called me and woke me up at 4am with these terrible news. My husband and I drove up to DC from NC right away. I am the only family Maryna has in the USA . We are from Ukraine, so our dad is defending our homeland while our mom had to flee the war to Germany. When I came to the hospital and saw Maryna, I didn’t recognize her. Her long beautiful hair was shaved, she had two huge ridges on both side of the head, plenty of tubes in her to keep her alive, she was pale and motionless…

The first few days were critical – people die from these injuries, and you don’t even need to be a doctor to understand that. The fact that she’s young made a big difference in this case, otherwise she wouldn’t have survived. She’s super smart and kind, and always helps people – she volunteered to help with the humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine, while working for an NGO. She has 2 masters degrees and speaks 4 languages fluently. It’s terrifying to think what would have happened if the ambulance didn’t arrive on time. This kind of crime is for horror movies, not for real life. Nobody deserves this.

Now it’s been about two weeks since the incident, and she is stable. Maryna would need about 6 months to a year to recover. The hospital bills and the rehab center will be very expensive, so we appreciate all the help we could get.

File photo

Update at 10:15 p.m. — All lanes have reopened.

Earlier: Northbound lanes of the GW Parkway are closed for an investigation after a serious crash.

The crash happened along the Parkway, just north of N. Glebe Road, around 5:30 p.m.

One person was trapped in a vehicle and rescued by firefighters. They were brought via ambulance to a local hospital.

The northbound lanes were still closed as of 6:15 p.m. and are expected to remain closed for an extended period of time for a crash investigation, according to U.S. Park Police. Traffic is being diverted onto Spout Run Parkway.

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It’s unclear why, but the FBI was out in force along Columbia Pike this morning.

Photos show several unmarked federal law enforcement vehicles, including a Lenco BearCat armored SWAT vehicle, in front of the Siena Park Apartments on the 2300 block of the Pike.

An agent in camouflage and tactical gear could be seen holding a shield inside the open doors of the moving BearCat.

Arlington County police deferred comment, noting that “the police activity is part of an active FBI investigation.” The FBI, in turn, confirmed the activity but said little else.

“The FBI is present at the 2300 block of Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA, conducting court authorized law enforcement activity,” Washington Field Office spokesperson Samantha Shero tells ARLnow. “The FBI cannot comment further due to an ongoing investigation.”

More details about the investigation are unlikely to be released today or tomorrow, Shero noted.

The last widely reported FBI investigation in Arlington happened in the Ballston area in March 2021.

Hat tip to John Antonelli

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The crow that was shot by a blow dart Tuesday morning (photo courtesy AWLA)

Arlington’s animal control office is trying to figure out who shot a crow with a blow dart in Fairlington this morning.

Several people in the neighborhood called police and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) around 11 a.m. this morning to report the incident. Animal control officers found a crow that had been critically injured by the dart, which was apparently shot from a blow gun.

The crow is now en route to a wildlife center for surgery, but it’s unclear whether it will survive, AWLA said. In a statement, below, the organization said shooting a crow is illegal under the Federal Migratory Bird Act and “will not be tolerated in Arlington County.”

The incident happened about three weeks after commercial property owners in nearby Shirlington started using an artificial fog to try to get a large murder of migratory crows to flock elsewhere. The wintering crows and their prodigious droppings on local sidewalks and vehicles are a long-standing issue in Shirlington, dating back to at least 2017.

More on this morning’s blow dart shooting and its aftermath, from AWLA, is below.

Today at approximately 11am, our officers and 911 Dispatch Center received multiple calls from the public about a crow that had been shot in a Fairlington neighborhood. Our animal control officers immediately responded and found a critically injured crow who had been shot with a blow-gun. Officers brought him back to AWLA for triage where they cut off the barb from the dart and applied basic wound care. One of our officers then began the drive to a wildlife center where the crow will undergo surgery to remove the dart. The officer is currently still on route to the center and unfortunately there is a chance the crow. may not survive the drive. Thankfully, our officers have checked the area and have not found any more injured animals.

“This is why we put so much time and emphasis on teaching tolerance and harmonious coexistence with wildlife. When groups, associations, or organizations teach intolerance for living things, our native wildlife pays the price.” ~ Jennifer Toussaint, Chief of Animal Control.

Crows are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Act. This type of activity is illegal and will not be tolerated in Arlington County. We are asking that anyone who may have seen any related activity in the area over the past 8-12 hours to please call our Animal Control team at (703) 931-9241.

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Wakefield High School (file photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 4:10 p.m.) Someone is apparently setting trash cans on fire at Wakefield High School.

Firefighters were on scene at the school this afternoon after a fire in a trash can filled part of the second floor with smoke, according to scanner traffic. It’s the second trash fire in recent days at the school, we’re told.

“This week on two different occasions, someone has set on fire the trash cans in different bathrooms and cause the fire department to be dispatched,” a tipster tells ARLnow. “This is dangerous.”

A video sent to ARLnow earlier this week, below, appears to show the first fire.

Fire marshals were dispatched to the school today to investigate the fire. At least one person was evaluated for smoke inhalation by paramedics.

An Arlington Public Schools spokesman told ARLnow that there were two fire alarms at the school this afternoon, the first of which was mechanical in nature. Wakefield’s principal sent an email to families this afternoon providing additional details about the incidents.

Dear Wakefield Community,

I want to provide an update on today’s fire alarms. As I mentioned in an earlier School Talk message today, students were evacuated because of a fire alarm. This was caused by a mechanical issue. The ACFD gave the all clear 10 minutes after the alarm. As students were reentering the building, the fire alarm went off again. This time, it was caused by a fire set in a bathroom trash can. One student was evaluated by EMS for potential smoke inhalation but was not transported to the hospital. Thankfully the student is fine and is with their parents.

This is the second incident involving a trash can fire this week. This type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. These incidents are being investigated and we will take appropriate disciplinary actions for those involved.

The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. If a student knows anything about these incidents, please have them speak to an administrator.

After school activities that take place inside the building are canceled for today.

Sincerely,

Dr. Chris Willmore
Principal

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