(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) Six highway workers along I-66 in Arlington were injured, four seriously, after an alleged DUI driver plowed into their work zone overnight.
The crash happened around 12:30 a.m. on I-66 near the N. Quincy Street overpass. Virginia State Police say the driver of a GMC Yukon veered into an active work zone, striking the half dozen workers before slamming into a light pole.
The driver was arrested for DUI and two passengers who allegedly tried to flee the scene were apprehended by Arlington County Police nearby, according to VSP. The six workers and two of the GMC occupants were brought to local hospitals, but all are expected to survive.
Initially, some of the injuries were reported to be critical and potentially life-threatening. A task force of Arlington and Fairfax County medics treated and transported the eight injured people.
More from VSP:
At 12:29 a.m. Thursday (Dec. 5), Virginia State Police responded to a crash within a Highway Work Zone in the westbound lanes of I-66 at Quincy Street near Exit 72 in Arlington County.
A GMC Yukon traveling west on I-66 swerved into the active Work Zone and struck six highway construction workers. The vehicle continued off the right side of the I-66 and crashed into a light pole.
There were three occupants in the GMC. The driver and a passenger in the GMC fled the scene on foot. State police and Arlington Police apprehended the two near the scene.
Arlington County Fire transported a total of eight individuals. Four of the highway workers are still being treated at Fairfax Inova for serious, but non-life threatening, injuries. Two other highway workers and the two male GMC passengers were transported to George Washington University Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
The driver of the Yukon, Kevin L. Blyther, 44, of Centreville, Va., has been charged with driving while intoxicated, one felony count for failure to stop at the scene of a crash involving an injury and one count of driving on a suspended/revoked license. Blyther is being held at the Arlington County Adult Detention Center.
There was a Virginia State Police vehicle positioned in the work zone with its blue lights flashing and the work zone was equipped with additional safety equipment and amber flashing lights to alert motorists of the active Highway Work Zone.
The crash remains under investigation.
This is not Blyther’s first serious run-in with the law. In 2017, he was arrested in Centreville following what police described as a six-hour barricade situation and domestic assault.
VDOT, meanwhile, is thanking social media users for an “outpouring of support” for the contractors who were struck.
We are really touched and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for our injured friends. Rest assured that we are compiling every single tweet to send to them as virtual get well cards. Thank you for being so kind, friends. We have the best Twitter followers.❤️ https://t.co/2Nnu9QPST2
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) December 5, 2019
A medical emergency might have been the cause of a fatal crash last night on I-395.
The single-vehicle crash happened around 10 p.m. in the northbound lanes of the highway, near the Pentagon.
The driver of the car, a 54-year-old Maryland woman, was later declared dead at a local hospital. All northbound lanes of I-395 were closed as a result of the crash, which is being investigated by Virginia State Police.
More from VSP:
Virginia State Police Trooper T. Karbowski is investigating a fatal crash in Arlington County. The crash occurred Dec. 3, 2019 at 9:51 p.m. on Interstate 395 at the 8 mile marker.
A 2008 Nissan Altima was traveling north on I-395 when it ran off the left side of the interstate, sideswiped the Jersey wall and then struck an impact attenuator.
The driver, Eddy A. Hernandez-Torres, 54, of Adelphi, Md., was transported to a nearby hospital where she was declared deceased.
A medical emergency is being investigated as the cause of the crash. The Arlington County Fire Department assisted at the scene.
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) December 4, 2019
INCIDENT: Traffic Collision
LOCATION: NB 395 at Exit 8B Washington Blvd
IMPACT: ALL LANES closed at this time, extended Police and Fire presence expected. Please seek alternate routes pic.twitter.com/3yU7I5dxL9
— Arlington Alert (@arlingtonalert) December 4, 2019
Photo courtesy Dave Statter
(Updated at 4:35 p.m.) Expect heavy traffic at the airports and on local highways as more than a million people depart the D.C. area for the Thanksgiving holiday.
According to Reagan National Airport, peak travel days include today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday), plus Saturday and Sunday for those returning from their Thanksgiving vacation.
Travelers are advised to take Metro and use terminal garages due to ongoing construction for a new 14-gate concourse at DCA, titled “Project Journey,” that has reduced lane capacity on the Arrivals roadway in front of Terminal B/C. Meanwhile, big storms affecting large portions of the country may bring flight delays and cancellations.
On the roads, AAA Mid-Atlantic is predicting a “big exodus,” with the worst traffic expected tomorrow.
“As a result, holiday travelers exiting the area and those staying put for the holiday, will encounter heavier traffic congestion, as well as travel delays that are almost three times longer than the normal delays — if there is such a thing around here — during the afternoon rush hours on any given Wednesday.”
Another traffic tracking company agrees, saying 3-5 p.m. on Wednesday should bring the worst traffic on D.C. area highways and arterials.
As Thanksgiving is one of the worst times of the year for crashes, Virginia State Police will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. — Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort — starting tomorrow and running until December 1. The program, will increase police visibility and traffic enforcement efforts throughout the five-day holiday period.
The Arlington County Police Department, meanwhile, has partnered with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a high-visibility “Click It or Ticket” campaign, starting today and running until December 6.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority had the following tips for travelers, after the jump.
(Updated at 11:20 a.m.) A car ran through a fence and into a house Tuesday night near the East Falls Church neighborhood and Arlington’s western border.
The crash happened around 7:30 p.m. along the 7000 block of Fairfax Drive. The road was closed for around an hour due to the emergency response.
Arlington County Police say the crash happened after the driver of the car sped away from a Virginia State Trooper who had attempted to pull the vehicle over on I-66.
Three suspects fled the crash on foot, police said. One suspect, a 22-year-old Manassas resident, was arrested and charged with hit and run and possession of a controlled substance. Neither she nor the two male suspects, who remain at large, were reported to be injured, according to police.
There was no immediate word on the severity of the damage to the home.
More from an ACPD crime report:
FELONY HIT & RUN (Significant), 2019-09170181, 7000 block of Fairfax Drive. At approximately 7:27 p.m. on September 17, police were dispatched to the report of a vehicle that had run off the roadway and into a residence. Three suspects were seen fleeing the scene of the crash on foot. The investigation determined that prior to the crash, the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed on I-66 when a Virginia State Police trooper attempted a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle failed to stop and sped away at an increased speed. A vehicle pursuit was not initiated. Officers responding to the crash canvased the area and located the female suspect. Tatiana Pendleton, 22, of Manassas, VA, was arrested and charged with Hit and Run – Passenger Fail to Report and Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance. Two suspects remain outstanding. Suspect One is described as a tall, black male wearing a white t-shirt and black pants. Suspect Two is described as a short, heavy set, black male wearing a brown t-shirt and blue jeans. No injuries were reported. The investigation is ongoing.
Photos courtesy JB
Arlington prosecutors are pressing charges against a Virginia State Police sergeant accused of accidentally firing a gun and not reporting the incident.
Steven Mittendorff is set to go on trial for the charges in the Arlington Circuit Court on October 10, Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos told ARLnow today (Monday.)
“On July 30, 2019, the Virginia State Police charged Steven R. Mittendorff, 39, of Prince William County with one misdemeanor count of reckless handling of a firearm and one misdemeanor count of obstruction of justice,” said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.
“The charges stem from an unreported, accidental discharge of a firearm inside a Virginia State Police area office in June 2019,” she added. “No one was injured in the incident.”
VSP maintains an office at 1426-A Columbia Pike, near I-395.
The alleged incident occurred on June 10, 2019, per court records. Last week, a local grand jury decided that the prosecution’s evidence against Mittendorff was strong enough to merit a trial.
Mittendorff was previously in the news after calling for Fairfax County Fire Chief Richard Bowers to resign, following the death of his wife. Nicole Mittendorf, took her own life after being the victim of alleged cyberbullying by her Fairfax firefighter colleagues, who reportedly posted sexually explicit comments about in her online web forums.
Mittendorff is a 1st Sergeant in charge of Virginia State Police Area 45, which includes Arlington, and was hired in 2002.
“In accordance with Department policy, he has been placed on leave without pay pending the outcome of the court process,” said Geller.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos declined further comment on the case.
Arlington Gets Best View of Fireworks — On a hazy night, Arlington — particularly Rosslyn — had the best view of the expanded D.C. fireworks. Smoke obscured the viewing for many parts of the District. [Twitter, Twitter, Raw Story]
JBG Trying to Lure Big Tech to Arlington — “JBG Smith Properties CEO Matt Kelly recently met with “a handful” of big West Coast tech firms in a bid to entice them to come to National Landing now that Amazon.com Inc. has chosen the area for its second headquarters.” [Washington Business Journal]
Police Chase Ends in Arlington — A high-speed police chase along I-66 ended in Arlington, near the N. Glebe Road exit. Virginia State Police say a woman fled from police at speeds of up to 120 mph while her three children were in the car. [WJLA, Twitter]
A Modest Proposal for Arlington — In a letter to the editor published by the Arlington Sun Gazette, a man apparently upset by the renaming of Washington-Lee High School to Washington-Liberty suggests also renaming Arlington “Amazon’s bitch.” [InsideNova]
Ebbin Cast as NRA’s ‘Boogeyman’ — “[State Sen. Adam] Ebbin, when told of [state Sen. Bryce] Reeves’s remarks at the town hall, said he never made any of the comments attributed to him. ‘Apparently I’m a radical homosexual who’s misquoted,’ Ebbin said sarcastically.” [Washington Post]
Checking Car Seats in Arlington — Writing about the new Virginia law requiring rear-facing car seats for children under two and below a certain weight, the Arlington County Fire Department noted on social media: “ACFD no longer does child seat safety inspections. Arlington County Police Department offers regular inspections to ensure the child seat is safely installed and secured in your vehicle.” [Twitter]
Warner Highlights Sept. 11th Memorial Trail — “U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) are working together to further honor the heroes of September 11th, 2001. In a bipartisan resolution, Senators Toomey and Warner highlight the significance of the September 11th National Memorial Trail,” which runs through Arlington. [Press Release]
Photo courtesy Dennis Dimick/Twitter
A man died early Tuesday morning after crashing his motorcycle on I-395 in Arlington.
The crash happened around 2 a.m. on northbound I-395 at the Washington Blvd exit, just prior to Pentagon City. The force of the crash ejected the rider, who died on scene, and caused the motorcycle to catch fire.
More from Virginia State Police:
At 1:58 a.m. Tuesday (April 23), Virginia State Police were called to the scene of a single-vehicle crash in Arlington County. Based on witness accounts, a motorcycle was traveling north on I-395 at a high rate of speed when it ran off the left side of the highway and struck the cement Jersey wall. The motorcycle then crossed over all northbound lanes of I-395 and continued off the right side of the interstate at the Exit 8A ramp. The motorcycle struck the guardrail and its rider was ejected. The impact with the guardrail caused the motorcycle to catch fire.
The motorcycle’s operator died at the scene. State police is still in the process of locating and notifying the next of kin.
The crash remains under investigation.
A crash reconstruction effort closed the ramp during the early morning hours.
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) April 23, 2019
Photo via Google Maps
County Board Planning Tax Rate Hike — “Owners of a typical Arlington single-family home will see this year’s real-estate tax bill rise 4.95 percent to more than $8,400 under the county government’s fiscal 2020 budget slated for approval this week. County Board members on April 18 tentatively opted for a 2-cent increase in the real estate tax rate, bringing it to $1.026 per $100 assessed value and making Arlington the only jurisdiction in Northern Virginia’s inner suburbs to impose a tax-rate increase on homeowners this year.” [InsideNova]
UNTUCKit Coming to Pentagon City Mall — Internet-born clothing brand UNTUCKit, which specializes in button-down shirts intended to be worn untucked, is planning to open on the second level of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall, next to Nordstrom. [Twitter]
Starting tomorrow, Virginia State Police are set to start enforcement activities intended to punish High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) violators on I-66.
VSP will start a focused HOV enforcement on I-66 express lanes inside the Beltway tomorrow (Thursday) during the morning and afternoon rush hour periods, the Virginia Department of Transportation recently announced.
Violators caught in this area face fines ranging from $125 for a first offense, up to $1,000 for a fourth or subsequent offense within a period of five years from the first one.
Drivers must have an E-ZPass device or E-ZPass Flex for vehicles with two or more people to travel during rush hours.
All vehicles with two or more people may use the road during rush hours for free, but need an E-ZPass Flex switched to HOV-mode. Drivers who choose to pay a toll and drive by themselves in the express lanes also need an E-ZPass.
VSP’s last focused HOV enforcement initiative in the same area caught 32 violators, and police wrote 19 other citations on Nov. 30.
HOV hours are from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. eastbound and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. westbound, Monday through Friday.
Three people have been arrested and will likely face charges in Arlington after a desperate attempt to flee a traffic stop on I-395.
The incident started just before 10 a.m., when an Arlington police officer tried to pull over a vehicle heading northbound on I-395 in the Pentagon City area. The driver of the vehicle then sped off heading the wrong way on southbound I-395, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
“The vehicle did not stop and fled the area at a high rate of speed,” she told ARLnow.com. “The vehicle traveled NB in the SB HOV lanes, struck a vehicle, and the three occupants of the suspect vehicle fled the scene on foot.”
A search ensued, as U.S. Park Police set up a perimeter and combed the area around East Potomac Golf Course for the suspects, according to scanner traffic. All three were eventually caught.
“With assistance by the United States Park Police and Virginia State Police, all three suspects were located and taken into custody,” Savage said. “Charges are pending at this time.”
There were no reports of injuries in the crash, according to Savage.
A motorcyclist died in a crash last night on I-66, near Arlington’s western border.
The crash happened just before 10 p.m.
“According to witnesses, two motorcycles were westbound on I-66 and traveling at a high rate of speed,” Virginia State Police said in a brief press release. “One of the motorcycles rear-ended a car traveling west on I-66. The impact of the crash caused the motorcycle to run off the interstate and strike the guardrail.”
“The motorcyclist died at the scene,” the press release continued. “The driver of the car was not injured in the crash.”
State police are investigating the crash. The name of the deceased has not yet been released.
Photo via Google Maps