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(Updated at midnight) The driver of a pickup truck struck a pedestrian at a busy Ballston area intersection this afternoon.

The crash happened around 3 p.m at the intersection of Fairfax Drive and N. Quincy Street. Initial reports suggest that the pedestrian, a woman, was in the crosswalk when she was struck.

The woman was said to be injured and in the roadway, but conscious and breathing, per the medic dispatch. A man is also reported to be in medical distress after the crash, though it was not immediately clear whether he was struck by the truck.

A small crowd could be seen gathered around the crash scene.

Arlington County police tell ARLnow that the driver was cited for the crash.

“At approximately 3:01 p.m., police were dispatched to N. Quincy Street at Fairfax Drive for the report of a crash with injuries involving two pedestrians,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The two pedestrians, an adult male and adult female, were transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene and was cited for failure to yield to the pedestrians in the crosswalk. “

Eastbound Fairfax Drive and northbound N. Quincy Street was blocked for a time by the emergency response.

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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.

Amazon van that struck a pedestrian in Clarendon

An Amazon delivery van driver struck a pedestrian, causing minor injuries, on arguably the most prominent street corner in Arlington.

The collision happened shortly before 4 p.m. at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Highland Street, across from the Clarendon Metro entrance.

“At approximately 3:50 p.m. police were dispatched… for the report of a crash with injuries involving a pedestrian,” Arlington County police spokesperson Alli Shorb told ARLnow. “The pedestrian sustained minor injuries and did not require transport to the hospital. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene. Police remain on scene investigating.”

A traffic camera showed the stopped van blocking the intersection’s northern and eastern crosswalks.

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Vision Zero team representatives during the Arlington County Board meeting on Oct. 18, 2022 (via Arlington County)

Arlington County Board members have indicated their impatience for traffic changes at an intersection where a woman was fatally struck by a driver two weeks ago.

During a meeting yesterday (Tuesday), Board members received a briefing from team members from Vision Zero — the county’s initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries — about all the work they do after a critical crash.

But Board members were less interested in the process and dwelled more on getting answers to questions like “How long will this take?” and “What can we do now?” Part of that motivation, according to Board Chair Katie Cristol, was that the death of 85-year-old Gwendolyn Hayes felt preventable.

“Any fatal crash is unacceptable to our community, as I know you feel deeply, as do we. And what feels so difficult about Ms. Hayes’ death is the sense that this is one that should have been prevented, especially because of those who had been killed at the same location before her,” she said.

Scene of fatal pedestrian crash along Little Falls Road in the Williamsburg neighborhood (staff photo)

This was the second pedestrian death and the third notable crash in recent months, and the rash has prompted residents to demand more action. Viviana Oxlaj Pérez died in early August after being struck by an alleged drunk driver on 2nd Street S. and Old Glebe Road. A man charged with involuntary manslaughter related to her death has hearings set for February 2023, according to court records.

Shortly after, a child on a bicycle who allegedly pedaled into oncoming traffic was struck at the intersection of 3rd Street S. and S. Carlin Springs Road. Then, Hayes died at the intersection of Little Falls Road and John Marshall Drive.

All three crashes were near schools: Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Kenmore Middle School and Nottingham Elementary School, respectively. And while school zones are slated to get speed cameras, possibly later next year, it won’t help safety at the intersection where Hayes died, which is just outside the school zone boundaries.

Scene of pedestrian struck in the Williamsburg neighborhood (staff photo)

In light of these crashes, Board members pressed staff to give timeframes for the police investigation into Hayes’ and Oxlaj Pérez’s deaths. They asked when police will choose a vendor for speed cameras, and asked if more red light cameras could be installed. They urged staff not to let new research into this intersection slow them down.

“We’ve got a lot of data, we’ve got a lot of information that doesn’t require a lot of time to initiate original research and study,” Board Vice-Chair Christian Dorsey said. “I would encourage us to use the data that we have and the analytical framework and tools we have to work as expeditiously as we can.”

County Board member Matt de Ferranti said he visited with a neighbor near Little Falls Road who always has first aid supplies ready to take care of people who get into crashes. There have been a total of three fatal pedestrian crashes along a two-block stretch of Little Falls Road near Nottingham Elementary School over the past eight years.

De Ferranti said he has seen videos showing how hazardous the conditions are. These are examples of “qualitative data” staff should use to prioritize changes to this intersection, he said.

“I really hope we can be thinking in weeks and not months in terms of additional action,” he said.

Staff at Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services, which builds and maintains local roads, say they’re working on preliminary designs for safety improvements, but are waiting for the facts of the police investigation to finalize these designs.

“We are prioritizing this [intersection],” Transportation and Operations Bureau Chief Hui Wang said. “We are trying to see if there are other data we can utilize without the fresh collection.”

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(Updated at 12:35 a.m.) A pedestrian has died after being struck in the Williamsburg neighborhood this morning.

The crash happened around 9 a.m. Saturday at the intersection of Little Falls Road and John Marshall Drive. Initial reports suggest that that an older woman was struck by the driver of an SUV in or near a crosswalk, and that the woman was in cardiac arrest when she was rushed to a local trauma center.

We’re told that the victim was familiar to local residents and is often seen walking in the area.

Police were still on site investigating the crash well into the morning, with the scene surrounded by police tape. The driver of the SUV remained on scene.

At 11 a.m., a police spokeswoman told ARLnow that the victim, who was in her 80s, has died.

“She was pronounced deceased at the hospital and police remain on scene investigating the fatal crash,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Her identity is being withheld pending proper notification.”

This is the third fatal pedestrian crash along a two-block stretch of Little Falls Road near Nottingham Elementary School over the past eight years.

In 2014 a local mother unloading a minivan near the school was fatally struck by a passing dump truck, the driver of which was later charged with a traffic infraction. In September 2019, a 55-year-old Arlington woman was struck while walking her dogs in a crosswalk at the intersection of Little Falls Road and N. Ohio Street; she later succumbed to her injuries in the hospital..

ACPD issued the following about the crash Saturday night, with the victim’s name plus a bit more information on the crash and how it happened.

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.

Hat tip to Charlie Clark

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Drunk driving — the alleged reason why a woman was killed in a hit-and-run last month — is on the rise in Arlington.

The fatal crash in the Arlington Heights neighborhood has county leaders considering greater emphasis on curbing drunk driving. Neighbors, meanwhile, are asking the county to add more traffic calming measures to combat risky driving, particularly near Alice West Fleet Elementary School and Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

On Aug. 1, a driver hit Viviana Oxlaj Pérez while she was walking near the Thomas Jefferson Community Center at 3501 2nd Street S. She was treated at the scene and transported to the hospital, where she died.

The Arlington County Police Department arrested Julio David Villazon at his home on Aug. 2 and charged him with involuntary manslaughter, hit and run, driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license.

There has been an uptick in alcohol-involved crashes in Arlington. Last year, ACPD recorded 143 alcohol-involved crashes, up nearly 49% increase from 96 in 2020, according to its 2021 annual report. In 2022, ACPD has recorded 116 alcohol-involved crashes, says police spokesman Ashley Savage.

Bicycle, pedestrian and alcohol-involved crash statistics in Arlington County from 2017 to 2021 (via Arlington County)

Driving under the influence is one of the top contributing factors to a “disproportionate” number of critical and fatal crashes in the county, says Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Katie O’Brien. The others are speeding, turning left at an intersection, turning right across bicycle lanes and failing to yield to pedestrians.

Each of these behaviors is being addressed during an ongoing “Critical Crash Mitigation Campaign” through December.

The recent rise in alcohol-related crashes chips away at what had been a broader downward trend in drunk driving. Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol attributed this initial decrease to efforts, such as the ACPD Arlington Restaurant Initiative and the Washington Region Alcohol Program, as well as the growing popularity of ride-sharing services — which have been getting more expensive.

“Now, however, national trends are indicating major increases in alcohol-related traffic fatalities during the pandemic (regional data is lagging but reasonable inference suggests our local trends may be similar),” Cristol said in an email to ARLnow. “This indicates to me that there is a greater role for the County Board in public education about the threat that drunk driving poses to our own community.”

Alcohol-related traffic injuries in the D.C. area from 2013 to 2020 (via Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments)

Cristol said the most important message she can communicate about last month’s crash is that “there is no safe way to drive drunk.”

“In this situation, the driver was impaired, and there is no ‘safe’ BAC above zero to get behind the wheel. Any intersection or roadway — irrespective of the physical safety improvements, visibility interventions, or other designs to the built environment — is unsafe when a drunk driver is present,” she said.

The DUI is Villazon’s second driving offense within the last 10 years, according to court records. He was previously found guilty of “improper driving” in the Arlington General District Court. Under state code, the misdemeanor charge of reckless driving can be knocked down to improper driving if either the judge or the prosecutor find that the offense was not serious.

His next court date is in February 2023.

The crash that killed Oxlaj Pérez is being examined by a broad swath of local agencies, including Arlington’s transportation staff, the police and fire departments, Arlington’s Dept. of Human Services, Virginia State Police and the County Manager’s office.

But neighbors say the problem is not hard to understand. They say drivers, particularly during school drop-off and pick-up times, speed down S. Glebe Road and Arlington Blvd (Route 50), run red lights, roll stop signs, make illegal U-turns, block crosswalks and go the wrong way on 1st Road S., a one-way street — and they’re not drunk.

“I understand the tragedy that occurred a few weeks ago involved alcohol and likely wouldn’t have been prevented with traffic changes,” said one neighbor, Kelly Cherry-Leigh Davison. “But we have brought up these safety issues numerous times to everyone we can think of and are getting nowhere. I’m worried every day another tragedy is going to occur and we could be preventing it.”

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A woman pushing a child in a stroller was bloodied and brought to the hospital after being struck by a driver in North Arlington this morning.

The crash happened around 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of Military Road and Lorcom Lane.

“At approximately 10:25 a.m., police were dispatched to the report of a crash with injuries involving a pedestrian,” Arlington County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “Upon arrival, it was determined the pedestrian was pushing a stroller at the time of the crash. The pedestrian, an adult female, was transported to an area hospital with injuries considered non-life threatening. The child was not injured.”

The woman could be seen being helped to a waiting ambulance after the crash, her face covered in dried blood. The apparent driver and the striking sedan could be seen nearby. So far there’s no word as to what led to the crash nor whether any charges will be filed.

“The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene,” said Savage. “The investigation is ongoing.”

The intersection, which is controlled by a four-way traffic light, is surrounded by homes and a pair of churches, on the northern edge of the Cherrydale neighborhood.

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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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Morning Notes

“DMV” painted in Ukrainian colors in Arlington Ridge (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Rent Keeps Going Up — “Arlington’s median apartment-rental rate remains highest in the metropolitan area and has fully rebounded from dropoffs during the early part of COVID, according to new data. With a median rental rate of $1,999 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,391 for two bedrooms in May, Arlington’s average rental… is now up just under 13 percent year-over-year.” [Sun Gazette]

Arlington Making Much Multifamily — From a spokesperson, about a new set of national rankings: “Multi-family units authorized in Arlington increased by 1,095.8% — a total addition of 2,838 units — between 2020 and 2021. Out of all midsize cities, Arlington experienced the 5th largest increase in multi-family home construction.” [Construction Coverage]

Group Decries Missing Middle ‘D-Day’ — From WAMU’s Ally Schweitzer: “With Arlington expected to enact zoning reforms allowing denser housing in more nabes, the group [Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future] is ramping up its rhetoric in opposition. The group’s latest blast calls the expected vote day ‘D-Day.’ They’ve said the county is ‘declaring war’ on single-family nabes.” [Twitter]

Parking Removed for Transitway Extension — From the National Landing BID: “Parking lanes along Crystal Drive and 12th Street South will be closed to make way for the Transitway Extension Project beginning Wednesday, June 15, 2022.” [Twitter]

Pedestrian Struck in Bluemont — From Dave Statter last night: “Report of a pedestrian struck at Wilson Blvd & George Mason Dr. Appears to be a bicyclist. There was also bicyclist struck last week a block away. @ArlingtonVaFD & @ArlingtonVaPD handling.” [Twitter]

Amazon Buys HQ2 Phase 2 Site — “Amazon.com Inc. has acquired the roughly 11 vacant acres in Pentagon City that will soon be developed as PenPlace, the massive second phase of HQ2. The $198 million deal with JBG Smith, as expected, follows Arlington County’s late April approval of PenPlace, a nearly 3.3 million-square-foot project slated to include three traditional office buildings, a spiral Helix tower, three retail pavilions, a central park and an underground parking garage.” [Washington Business Journal]

Environmental Finding on HQ2 Site — “Crude oil particles have been found in the soil at Amazon.com Inc.’s PenPlace, the site of the second phase of its second headquarters buildout in Arlington County, per a public notice published Monday in The Washington Post… The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality conducted a risk assessment for the particles, finding that the amount poses ‘no material risk to current or future site occupants,’ according to the notice.” [Washington Business Journal]

It’s Tuesday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day with some rain possible. High of 76 and low of 63. Sunrise at 5:45 am and sunset at 8:33 pm. [Weather.gov]

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(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) A woman suffered potentially life-threatening injuries after a crash in front of the Clarendon Whole Foods on Wednesday.

Initial reports suggest that the woman was walking in the area when the crash occurred on Clarendon Blvd and the force of the collision sent two vehicles careening onto the sidewalk, knocking down a light pole.

Details surrounding what exactly happened were fuzzy at the time. A police spokeswoman said it is too early in the investigation to determine a cause of the crash or a sequence of events.

The woman was rushed to a local hospital via ambulance after the crash. Arlington County police set up a command post as detectives conducted a full investigation.

A lone shoe could be seen on the sidewalk as police cordoned off the area and onlookers watched from behind the wall of the Whole Foods parking lot.

Clarendon Blvd was blocked near the crash for an extended period of time.

On Thursday, the Arlington County Police Department released more information about the crash, which detectives say was caused by a driver who struck a parked car. The victim remains hospitalized in critical condition, police said.

The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a critical crash which occurred on the afternoon of December 22 in the Clarendon neighborhood.

At approximately 1:44 p.m., police were dispatched to the 2700 block of Wilson Boulevard for the report of a crash with injuries involving a pedestrian. The preliminary investigation indicates the driver of the striking vehicle was turning from N. Edgewood Street onto Clarendon Boulevard when he struck a parked vehicle. The impact of the crash resulted in the pedestrian being struck and damage to an additional parked vehicle and a light pole.

The pedestrian, an adult female, was transported to an area hospital with serious injuries and remains hospitalized in critical condition. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene.

The crash remains under investigation and anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact Detective K. Stahl at [email protected] at 703-228-7145. Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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Morning Notes

Ballston Quarter’s outdoor Christmas tree (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Shot Fired in Buckingham — “At approximately 3:04 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of shots heard in the 4200 block of 2nd Road N. Upon arrival, it was determined that the male victim exited an apartment, encountered the two suspects in the hallway and confronted them. A physical altercation ensued, and one suspect produced a firearm. During the struggle, a shot was fired, causing damage to the door of an apartment. The suspects then fled the scene. Responding officers recovered the firearm.” [ACPD]

Driver Strikes Child in Falls Church — “At approximately 4:15 p.m., Falls Church Police and Arlington County Fire and Medical units were dispatched for a report of vehicular crash with injuries involving a pedestrian, approximately 3 to 4 years old. The victim was taken to Fairfax Hospital and is currently listed in critical condition. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene. The preliminary investigation is still underway with no additional details at this time.” [City of Falls Church, Twitter]

Huge Covid Testing Line Monday Evening — “The Court House Curative kiosk COVID-19 testing line is probably 100+ people long right now.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Fairlington Fire Station’s Future in Flux — “The Arlington government three years ago closed Fire Station #7 over concerns about the structural integrity of its flooring. It has since been determined that it would be too costly to upgrade the facility to resume its original function, but competing planning priorities coupled with the COVID crisis have left the building’s future unclear. A community process to determine the future of Fairlington’s 1940s-era, one-bay fire station has been on hold during the COVID crisis, but may be tackled in early 2022.” [Sun Gazette]

Fire Departments Struggling With Staffing — From public safety watchdog Dave Statter “Alexandria isn’t alone. Area fire department staffing is impacting the number of fire & EMS units available at a time when Covid is surging. There’s also significant impact on EMS availability due to hospital staffing leaving ambulance crews stuck at EDs with patients.” [Twitter]

Local Scholarship Application Now Open — “Arlington Community Foundation (ACF) launched its 2022 scholarship application today, providing Arlington high school students with an opportunity to compete for more than 70 scholarships worth over $525,000 in student aid. A single, common application gives students an easy way to apply for an award from more than 55 individual scholarship funds.” [Press Release]

Marymount Now Requiring Booster Shot — “On Monday, Marymount University administrators shared with its community members an enhanced COVID-19 vaccination policy that will require a booster shot for all students, faculty and staff who will be physically present on campus during the upcoming semester, a precautionary measure designed to ensure the best possible protection against the virus.” [Press Release]

It’s Tuesday — Today will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 46. Sunrise at 7:23 a.m. and sunset at 4:49 p.m. Tomorrow will be sunny, with a high near 48 and wind gusts as high as 24 mph. [Weather.gov]

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