Tysons, VA

Vienna police say that a pedestrian was taken to the hospital after being hit by a vehicle on the W&OD Trail in a crosswalk earlier this month.

A man driving eastbound on Church Street hit the pedestrian, who was on heading south on the W&OD Trail, in the crosswalk, according to the town’s crime recap. The incident occurred shortly before 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 7.

“[The pedestrian] was transported to an area hospital by rescue personnel with non-life-threatening injuries,” police said.

Police issued a summons charging the driver with Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian.

Photo via Facebook

0 Comments

Fairfax County police say a man was arrested in connection to a fatal hit and run on Arlington Blvd (Route 50) in the Falls Church area last January.

Police said a pickup truck struck and killed 93-year-old Pericles Apostolou, from Falls Church, when he was crossing Arlington Blvd outside of the crosswalk near Summerfield Road around 6 p.m. on Jan. 18, 2019, police said.

“The truck did not stop and drove away from the scene,” police said last year.

FCPD announced today (Wednesday) that 30-year-old Michael Smith, of Fredericksburg, has been charged with felony hit-and-run.

“Detectives from our Crash Reconstruction Unit worked extensively to identify the suspect,” according to a press release. “Through their investigative leads and tips received from the community, Smith was identified and arrested by Manassas City Police on Feb. 6.”

Smith is currently being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center with no bond, according to police.

Police said they are also working on three unsolved, fatal hit and run cases from 2018 and 2019, which includes one on Leesburg Pike near I-495 last February. Police are asking that anyone with information about this case or the other three to contact them at 703-280-0543.

Map via Google Maps

0 Comments

Happy Friday! Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:

Answer to Affordable Housing? — “A unique zoning designation permitted a new duplex to spring up in the heart of the City of Falls Church, but the development may not be a one-off if proposed legislation to upzone all single-family lots to accommodate multifamily structures passes down in Richmond.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Art Center Proposed For McLean Park — “‘MPA envisions an all-inclusive art center which provides a creative respite for the community that is integrated into, yet distinct from, Clemyjontri Park,’ county officials said.” [Inside NoVa]

Falls Church Library Project Moves Forward — “By a split 4-3 vote, the Falls Church City Council gave a “first reading” preliminary approval to a $10.9 million project to renovate and expand the Mary Riley Styles Public Library… The vote on final approval for the plan is scheduled for Feb. 10.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Woman Struck in Falls Church — “A woman was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street at the corner of Little Falls Road and West Broad Street in the City of Falls Church Tuesday afternoon, the City reported.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Fun Fact: The miniature fighter jet sculpture pictured above in Falls Church was made with 14,000 copper coins, according to Atlas Obscura.

0 Comments

Local officials are set to talk about how to improve safety along Shreve Road at a town hall on Thursday.

The event comes several months after a Falls Church resident Betty Ana Bernstein-Zabza died from a hit and run near the intersection of Shreve Road and Hickory Street in August.

Del. Marcus Simon (D-53rd) and the Shreve Road Community Working Group, a coalition of residents and community associations advocating for improvements to the corridor, plan to provide an update “on actions by local officials to improve the notoriously dangerous Shreve Road,” according to an email from the working group’s co-founders.

The town hall is set to start at 6:30 p.m. at the cafeteria in Shrevewood Elementary School (7525 Shreve Road).

First image via Google Maps; flyer via Shreve Road Community Working Group

0 Comments

Fairfax County police say that the 60-year-old man who was struck by a vehicle in Tysons on Monday night has died.

Police said in an update today (Wednesday) that D.C. resident Abraham Feldman was crossing Old Courthouse Road at the intersection of Lord Fairfax Road around 7:19 p.m. when he was struck by a 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe traveling eastbound on Old Courthouse Road through the intersection.

Police said Feldman “was in the vicinity of the crosswalk” when the crash occurred. He was hospitalized with serious injuries and died earlier today, police said.

“The driver remained at the scene and is cooperating with detectives,” police said. “Preliminarily, alcohol does not appear to be a factor for the driver or the pedestrian. Detectives have not yet determined if speed was a factor for the driver.”

Police are asking that anyone with information contact the Crash Reconstruction Unit at 703-280-0543.

Image via Google Maps

0 Comments

Updated 12/6/19 — Fairfax County police say that the 60-year-old man who was struck by a vehicle in Tysons on Monday night has died.  

Fairfax County police say a male pedestrian was hospitalized with serious injuries after being struck by a vehicle in Tysons last night (Monday).

The crash happened around 7:15 p.m. last night (Dec. 2) at Old Courthouse and Gallows roads, Sgt. Erica Webb, a police spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter.

Police tweeted about the crash around 8 p.m., saying that the “pedestrian was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.” The crash closed the eastbound lanes of Old Courthouse Road last night, according to a tweet from the police.

The driver of the vehicle remained on scene after the crash, Webb said, adding that the incident is an active investigation and that she was not aware of any charges related to the crash.

Webb was not able to say what kind of vehicle was involved in the crash, the condition of the driver, if other people were in the vehicle and the location of the pedestrian when the crash occurred.

Police are asking that anyone with information about the crash contact Detective Burriss at 703-280-0553.

Image via Google Maps

0 Comments

Fairfax County police say a female pedestrian is in critical condition after being struck by a car along Lee Hwy in Merrifield.

Police received the call at 10:14 a.m. on Saturday (Nov. 23) for the crash involving a Toyota Solara and a female pedestrian, Sgt. James Curry, a police spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter.

Police tweeted about the crash shortly after 11 a.m, noting that eastbound Lee Hwy was closed at Cedar Lane.

“The pedestrian was taken to the hospital with injuries considered to be life-threatening,” the tweet said.

Shortly after 1 p.m., police tweeted again to say that Lee Hwy had reopened and that “the pedestrian remains in critical condition.”

Curry said that, as of 9:30 a.m. today (Monday), the police are awaiting an update on the woman’s condition.

The driver involved in the crash remained on the scene, Curry said, adding that no arrests have been made in connection to the crash.

The location of the pedestrian when the crash occurred and the cause of the crash are pending investigation, Curry said.

Map via Google Maps

0 Comments

A driver arrested for allegedly striking and killing a woman in the West Falls Church area is now facing additional charges for homicide and drug possession.

In August, Betty Ana Bernstein-Zabza, a Falls Church resident who worked for the State Department, was fatally hit by a truck near the intersection of Shreve Road and Hickory Street — less than a mile away from her home.

Zabza was walking near the busy W&OD Trail with a child, who was treated for minor injuries after the crash, according to Fairfax County police.

“They entered a crosswalk that connected the pathway to a sidewalk when they were hit by a stolen 2013 Nissan Titan pickup truck,” police said.

Shortly after the crash, police arrested the driver of the truck, 46-year-old South Riding resident David Alan Francis and charged him with one count of felony hit and run. At the time of the arrest, police said that Francis fled the scene uninjured and that “both speed and drugs appear to be factors.”

The police department announced today (Tuesday) that Francis faces additional charges of felony homicide, felony hit and run, aggravated involuntary manslaughter, possession of schedule I/II narcotics and driving under the influence of drugs.

“On Monday, evidence was presented to a grand jury who indicted David Alan Francis,” police said of the new charges.

Since 2009, Francis has faced 30 charges including many traffic-related ones like driving under a revoked or suspended license, operating an uninsured vehicle, speeding and improper driving, according to court records.

Francis is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond, police said.

0 Comments

Commuters and residents want to see more bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements along Route 50 in the Falls Church area.

At a meeting hosted by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) last night, VDOT officials and residents discussed different ideas for improving the route, which has up to 51,000 vehicles travel daily, according to VDOT.

The meeting coincidentally happened a day after a 40-year-old man was struck and killed at the intersection of Route 50 and Graham Road. On a map of reported crashes since 2013, that intersection had two reports of fatal crashes, along with dozens of other crashes ranging in severity from property damage to serious injuries.

A study is underway to evaluate potential safety and operational changes for three miles of Route 50 between Jaguar Trail and Wilson Blvd.

VDOT officials said that the study is looking at data showing crash hotspots, speed and traffic count from January 2013 to the spring of 2019 and projections out to 2030.

“We don’t go into a study with the solutions already in hand,” Allison Richter, the liaison for Fairfax and Arlington counties, said.

The possible improvements VDOT is looking at include:

  • traffic signal timing/operations
  • turn lane
  • turn restrictions
  • access management
  • pedestrian enhancements
  • innovative intersections

Richter said that bike and pedestrian safety improvements are under consideration.

About 50 people showed up for the meeting, including Fairfax County police, Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, School Board Member Dalia Palchik and Tom Biesiadny, the director of Fairfax County’s transportation department.

Many of the people who lined up to provide feedback to VDOT pointed out specific problem areas — urging for time-restricted turn lanes, signal timing changes — and more focus on bicyclists, pedestrians and people using mass public transit.

“This area is becoming more urban over time,” one attendee told VDOT officials, adding that VDOT should focus on safety over speed for drivers.

Added safety measures could include two-way bike lanes on one-way service roads and more lighting, attendees said.

Sonya Breehey, a bike safety advocate, suggested traffic calming on the frontage roads.

“Arlington Blvd scares me,” Breehey said.

A handful of people called for VDOT to lower the speed limit from 45 miles per hour, with one person suggesting a new speed limit of 35 miles per hour.

One man who provided feedback urged VDOT to not forget about drivers, who might face slower speeds and longer travel times.

“Better late to dinner than dead,” someone from the audience shouted after the man finished commenting.

“Please be respectful,” the man responded.

People can take an online survey — which allows respondents to mark problem spots on a map and rank the six possible improvements — and submit comments to Bobby Mangalath, at 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, Va. 22030 by next Thursday, Oct. 31.

VDOT plans to hold another information meeting when the study wraps up in the spring.

0 Comments

(Updated at 4 p.m. 8/6/19) Colleagues are commemorating the woman who died from a hit and run in Falls Church as a loving mother, wife and passionate U.S. State Department employee.

Police said Betty Ana Bernstein-Zabza, a 60-year-old Falls Church resident, died as a result of injuries from the crash, which happened shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of Shreve Road and Hickory Street — less than a mile away from her home.

“Detectives from our Crash Reconstruction Unit have preliminarily determined that [Bernstein-Zabza] was walking with a juvenile northbound on a pedestrian pathway adjacent to Shreve Road,” police said. “They entered a crosswalk that connected the pathway to a sidewalk when they were hit by a stolen 2013 Nissan Titan pickup truck.”

A State Department spokesperson told Tysons Reporter that Bernstein-Zabza was a senior advisor in the Bureau of Counterterrorism.

“Ms. Bernstein joined the Department of State on Oct. 1, 1993 and served at overseas posts in Warsaw, Bern and Berlin, as well as several domestic posts,” the spokesperson said.

Jane Zimmerman told Tysons Reporter that she will remember her former work colleague as a loving mother and wife. “Her son was her everything. She cherished every moment with him and was so grateful for her husband as a wonderful father and loving family man,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman also said that Bernstein-Zabza especially loved working on global women’s issues and supporting and mentoring her colleagues at the State Department.

“Her experience from Pakistan to Poland and Germany made her take women’s issues and human rights close to her heart,” Zimmerman said, adding that she was a wise, compassionate and joyful person who “could always make us laugh, especially at ourselves.”

Known for her efforts to empower women, Bernstein-Zabza spoke at several events advocating for providing more tools for women to succeed.

Another former work colleague, Marci Hodge, told Tysons Reporter that Bernstein-Zabza “worked so hard for women and girls particular in this world and we all owe her a debt of gratitude for her leadership on these issues.”

Hodge said that Bernstein-Zabza hired her and helped get her started on her “dream job” at the State Department. “I would not be here without her.”

Shakyra McMillon, who was supervised by Zabza in the Office of Global Women’s Issues at the State Department, said that Zabza was “a great leader and you made sure the women and girls priorities were known.”

She said that Bernstein-Zabza was “an inspiring, goal-driven, intelligent, and thoughtful woman,” adding, “Not only were you a great colleague but a wonderful mother!”

Maryum Saifee, who worked with Bernstein-Zabza in the Office of Global Women’s Issues, said that her former colleague “was part of this special crew of rockstar colleagues that represented the very best in public service.”

“She helped bring me into that office by creating a special tour of duty that year — which was bureaucratically not easy, but she fought for me,” Saifee said. “And because of her, I was given a platform to fight for issues I care deeply about and grow professionally as a diplomat.”

Several people also shared memories of Bernstein-Zabza on social media, describing her as a beloved work colleague.

Police arrested the vehicle’s driver — 46-year-old South Riding resident David Alan Francis — and charged him with one count of felony hit and run. Detectives believe Francis may have been involved in additional criminal events yesterday in both Fairfax County and adjoining jurisdictions.

Since 2009, Francis has faced 30 charges including many traffic-related ones like driving under a revoked or suspended license, operating an insured vehicle, speeding and improper driving, according to court records.

Photo via Facebook

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list