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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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1000 block of S. Frederick Street (via Google Maps)

Shots rang out in the Columbia Forest neighborhood near Columbia Pike last night, leading to a police investigation but no reported injuries.

“At approximately 6:24 p.m., police were dispatched to the 1000 block of S. Frederick Street for the report of shots heard,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Annemarie Antignano tells ARLnow. “Responding officers canvassed the area, recovered evidence confirming shots had been fired and located damage to an unoccupied, parked vehicle and an occupied apartment. No injuries related to the shots fired have been reported.”

Police said they did not have a description of the suspect or suspects.

“This remains an active criminal investigation,” Antignano wrote. “Anyone with information or home surveillance 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] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).”

Separately, this past weekend’s crime report included another gun-related incident from Friday night.

Police say a driver brandished a gun during a road rage incident near Clarendon, leading to the arrest of a D.C. man in the Virginia Square neighborhood.

From the crime report:

BRANDISHING (late), 2022-03110208, Wilson Boulevard at 10th Street N. At approximately 6:45 p.m. on March 11, police were dispatched to the late report of a brandishing. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 6:00 p.m., the victim was driving in the area when the suspect attempted to unsuccessfully merge into his lane. The suspect then rolled down his window and a verbal dispute ensued before he allegedly brandished a firearm. The victim then drove away from the area. A short time later, officers located the suspect vehicle in the 800 block of N. Pollard Street and observed the suspect return to the vehicle. Officers initiated a traffic stop and took the suspect into custody without incident, during which a firearm was observed in the passenger seat and recovered. [The suspect], 30, of Washington, D.C., was arrested and charged with Brandishing a Firearm. He was released on a summons.

Photo via Google Maps

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(Updated at 12:35 p.m.) A man suffered critical injuries after falling from the Pentagon City mall parking garage Monday afternoon.

The incident happened around 3:30 p.m. at the large parking garage on the 800 block of Army Navy Drive. 911 callers reported that the man fell about 50 feet to the concrete below.

“Crews arrived on scene and found an adult male suffering from life threatening injuries,” Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Nate Hiner told ARLnow Monday evening. “That individual was transported to an area hospital where he remains in critical condition. The details surrounding events prior to the injury are being investigated by ACPD.”

Police remained on scene for several hours investigating what happened.

On Tuesday, the Arlington County Police Department revealed in its daily crime report that the man was a shoplifting suspect who was allegedly fleeing from a security guard and attempting to jump over a railing when he fell.

From ACPD:

LARCENY (Significant), 2022-03070149, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 4:02 p.m. on March 7, police were dispatched to assist the Fire Department with an injury from a fall in the 800 block of Army Navy Drive. The investigation determined the suspect had entered a business, allegedly concealed merchandise under his coat and left without paying when an employee approached and offered assistance. A security guard entered the area and began to follow the suspect who then ran to the parking garage and attempted to jump over a railing before falling to the ground. Medics transported the suspect to an area hospital with serious injuries. A summons for petit larceny was obtained for the suspect.

Closure due to crash on the GW Parkway (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) Northbound lanes of the GW Parkway were closed before Key Bridge today due to a serious crash.

The crash happened shortly before 11:45 a.m. and reportedly involved a vehicle that ran off the side of the roadway and overturned, injuring several people.

Northbound traffic was at a near-standstill for nearly a mile, between the Roosevelt Bridge and the crash.

All lanes reopened by 1:45 p.m., according to WTOP.

Map via Google Maps

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(Updated 5:30 p.m.) The child who was struck by a driver a few weeks ago while riding his scooter in Westover has returned home, police say.

A Cadillac sedan struck the child in the afternoon on Nov. 17 as the driver exited a county-owned alley onto N. Longfellow Street. The boy was reportedly pulled from under the vehicle and was conscious when medics arrived to rush him to a local hospital.

“The toddler has been released from the hospital and is reportedly doing well,” said Ashley Savage, a spokeswoman for Arlington County Police Department, told ARLnow yesterday afternoon.

No additional details about the nature of the toddler’s injuries were provided, although initial reports indicated he had suffered a serious head injury.

The driver stayed on scene while police began their investigation, which Savage said Tuesday “remains an active and ongoing critical crash investigation.”

Following the crash the look of the alley has changed, as some thick hedges — one of a number of safety concerns neighbors articulated about the alley — have come down. Workers could be seen trimming back the hedges last Thursday.

Reached by phone Tuesday, a family member of the homeowner declined to comment about the hedges.

On the day of the crash, Arlington County’s code enforcement division received a complaint about the house with the hedges, spokeswoman Erika Moore told ARLnow Wednesday afternoon.

“Code enforcement cited the property owner under Chapter 10 of the County Code and sent a notice as required,” she said.

Chapter 10 covers trash, recycling and care of premises, and says the following: “It shall be the joint and several duty of each owner or occupant of property to cut back or remove trees or parts thereof, hedges, shrubs, vines and other vegetation which encroaches upon any sidewalk, alley, roadway, street or highway and which impairs or obstructs any pedestrian or vehicular traffic.”

Other safety threats in the area, according to residents, include drivers traveling at a high rate of speed on N. Longfellow Street and on the alley, which connects N. Longfellow Street and the cul-de-sac at 15th Road N. Additionally, streetlights on the alley were dim or out, making it hard to see after nightfall, though the crash occurred during daylight hours.

The crash led the Westover Civic Association to ask on Nextdoor for reports of similar accidents or incidents in the area, which the civic group intends to present to the Arlington County Board.

In conjunction with a fatal crash one week prior in Green Valley, near Drew Elementary School, the incident prompted Arlington County to launch a review of a common thread between them: alleys.

“Our team is evaluating the crash locations in detail now and will conduct a holistic assessment on alleys from now into the spring,” Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Katie O’Brien told ARLnow on Tuesday.

In the other crash, a man who was reportedly speeding down an alley on his motorcycle collided with a school bus carrying children.

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