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.
Erosion from the torrent of water unleashed by the break in the 36-inch distribution line washed away a portion of the trail that connects the southern section that’s accessible from the Roosevelt Island parking lot with the section north of Chain Bridge.
“The Potomac Heritage Trail is currently closed south of the Arlington County parking lot at the intersection of Glebe Road and Chain Bridge Road,” says an alert the National Park Service’s GW Parkway website. “The NPS is working with Arlington County and the PATC to identify a temporary re-route and a plan to reopen.”
NPS spokesman Aaron LaRocca confirmed to ARLnow that the closure was “due to trail damage as a result of the water main break on Glebe Road.”
So far there’s no word about when the trail might reopen.
Animal control officers in Arlington don’t just deal with urban wildlife issues — like, say, trash pandas stuck in bathtubs.
With expanses of parkland in the county’s confines, sometimes animal control duties become more rugged. An incident involving a fox on Saturday, for instance, prompted an Animal Welfare League of Arlington officer to hike for 15 minutes on the Potomac Heritage Trail.
The officer responded to the hilly and rocky terrain between the GW Parkway and the Potomac River for a report of a fox stuck in a bush. There, they found the little fox tangled in the bush, with a fish hook stuck in it leg.
Once unstuck, the fox was brought to Wildlife Vet Care for surgery, and is now expected to be released back into the wild soon.
Arlington County firefighters helped to rescue a woman who fell down an embankment near Chain Bridge this afternoon.
The incident happened around 3 p.m. Initial reports suggest a 72-year-old woman fell 100-150 feet down an embankment along the Potomac Heritage Trail.
A fire department technical rescue team was dispatched to the scene, but rescuers were able to eventually walk the patient up the hill and to an ambulance, where she was evaluated for injuries, according to scanner traffic.
Police blocked the inbound lane of N. Glebe Road near the bridge during the rescue, due to a large number of fire department vehicles in the roadway.
Image via Google Maps