A Maryland resident was killed in a car crash in the McLean area of northbound Interstate 495 on Friday (June 4), the Virginia State Police says.
According to a news release that came out today (Monday), state troopers responded at 11:56 p.m. to a two-vehicle crash that occurred south of the American Legion Bridge:
A 2019 Hyundai Kona was traveling in the far left lane at a high rate of speed when it crossed two lanes, struck a 2018 Freightliner tractor-trailer in the center lane and continued to travel off the right side of the road. The Hyundai spun as it ran off the road, running into the ditch, hitting two trees and overturning.
The driver of the Hyundai, who has been identified as 36-year-old Daniel E. Gluckman of Rockville, Md., died at the scene.
State police say Gluckman was wearing a seatbelt, but speed is considered a factor in the crash. The tractor-trailer driver was notinjured.
“The crash remains under investigation,” the VSP said.
Woman Pulled Over by State Trooper Calls for Accountability — “Charges against a Black woman pulled over and arrested in Fairfax County, Virginia, have been dropped by the county’s commonwealth attorney and expunged by the courts. But Juanisha Brooks is demanding further action as a result of the March traffic stop…Brooks maintains she was profiled before the stop and treated poorly after it because of her race.” [WTOP]
Fairfax County Parks Inch Back to Normal — “Facilities throughout the Fairfax County park system are returning to nearly normal operations after a series of closures and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we ramp up and reopen, some sites may operate on limited schedules or require preregistration for activities, so we strongly urge park visitors to call sites in advance or check our website to ensure access and availability.” [Fairfax County Park Authority]
Governor Delivers Speech at Final George Mason HS Graduation — Gov. Ralph Northam served as the commencement speaker at George Mason High School’s Class of 2021 graduation ceremony on Wednesday (June 2). It was the first ceremony at the City of Falls Church’s newly built school and the last one before it transitions to the new moniker of Meridian High School. [Falls Church News-Press]
Grant Approved to Replace McLean Field — “The Fairfax County Park Authority Board has approved a $20,000 Mastenbrook Volunteer Matching Fund Grant request from the McLean Youth Soccer (MYS) Association for improvements to Holladay Field in the Dranesville District. Board members voted in favor of the request at their meeting on May 26, 2021.” [Fairfax County Park Authority]
While it may be tempting to throw caution into the wind as 2020 winds to a close, local and state police are emphasizing the need for people to drive safely during the winter holidays, when alcohol-related crashes often spike.
Data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office shows that the Commonwealth has recorded more fatalities from traffic crashes related to speed and drunk driving so far this year than in all of 2019, the Virginia State Police reported on Monday (Dec. 21).
“Virginia is on pace to have more total fatal traffic crashes in 2020 than in 2019,” VSP Superintendent Col. Gary Settle said. “…Overall traffic crashes in Virginia this year are down significantly. This means each crash has been deadlier – deadlier because of speed, alcohol, distractions, and individuals not wearing seatbelts.”
The increase in deaths from crashes comes even as the COVID-19 pandemic kept many people off the roads and confined to their homes.
According to toll operator Transurban, traffic on the Interstate 95, 495, and 395 Express Lanes was down 80% in April – when Virginia had stay-at-home orders in place – compared to that same time period in 2019. While traffic has gradually increased since then, it remained 39% below 2019 levels as of November.
Police say that drunk-driving related fatalities and crashes typically go up nationwide during the holidays.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 839 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in the U.S. in December 2018. 285 of them died during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period, the VSP says.
The Fairfax County Police Department’s traffic division steps up its patrol for people driving the influence every year with an annual campaign against drunk driving that runs from the end of November to the new year.
“Although this campaign only runs until January 1, we are fortunate enough to have a dedicated DWI Squad to continue enforcement throughout the rest of the year,” the FCPD said in an email, adding that Virginia DMV recorded 336 alcohol-related crashes, 215 injuries, and seven deaths in the state from Nov. 30 to Dec. 15, 2019.
Health officials have been discouraging people from attending parties or gathering with people outside their immediate household, but for anyone who decides to travel during the holiday season, the Virginia State Police has some recommendations:
- Plan ahead. Designate a sober driver, call a friend or family member, or use a cab or public transportation.
- If you know someone has been drinking, do not let them drive. Arrange an alternative, safer way home.
- Call police if you see an impaired driver on the road. Dial #77 to contact the nearest VSP emergency communications center.
State police will also have new grounds to crack down on distracted driving in the new year. It will be illegal to use a phone or other handheld communications device while driving on highways in Virginia starting on Jan. 1.
“Virginia State Police is urging every motorist on the road this holiday season to be responsible, obey the traffic laws, ditch distractions, and wear a seatbelt,” the VSP said in its news release. “Whether heading to the grocery store, the post office, or delivering gifts to family and friends, choose to do it safely and do it responsibly.”
A man from Falls Church was killed in a car crash in the City of Richmond early this morning, Virginia State Police reported on Friday (Nov. 13).
Muhammad Kahn, 22, was struck by a 2005 Volvo S80 traveling north on Interstate 95. He was in the center lane at the 75-mile marker and died at the scene.
Virginia State Police responded to the crash at approximately 12:27 a.m. Identified by police as a 35-year-old man, the Volvo driver was wearing a seatbelt and did not report any injuries.
“Speed is not being considered a factor in the crash,” VSP Richmond public information officer Sgt. Dylan Davenport said in an email.
A woman died after her vehicle ran off of Route 267 in Tysons East and struck two trees early this morning (Thursday).
The fatal crash happened around 2:30 a.m. on westbound Route 267 (Dulles Access Road) just west of Route 123, Corinne Geller, a spokesperson for the Virginia State Police, said.
“A Honda Civic was traveling west on Route 267 when it ran off the road and struck two trees. The impact of the crash caused the vehicle to roll over the guardrail and back into the westbound lanes of the highway,” Geller said.
The woman, who was the only person in the vehicle, died at the scene, Geller said.
Police are still trying to contact the woman’s next of kin and have not released her name.
The crash remains under investigation.
Map via Google Map
(Updated at 10:20 a.m.) The driver of a tractor-trailer died today (Thursday) in a crash and fire on I-495.
Right before 2 a.m., Virginia State Police responded to a crash in the southbound lanes of I-495 at Exit 49, which heads onto westbound I-66, Corinne Geller, a spokesperson for the Virginia State Police, said.
The tractor-trailer ran off the right side of the interstate and struck the cement barrier, which ruptured the truck’s fuel tank, police said.
“This caused the vehicle to catch fire and become engulfed in flames,” Geller said. “The impact with the barrier wall also dislodged the vehicle’s axles, which ended up blocking several travel lanes.”
The driver of the vehicle died at the scene, and the Office of the Medical Examiner in Manassas will conduct an autopsy, examination and identification, Geller said.
The crash is currently under investigation, Geller said.
FINAL: Vehicle Fire. I-495 SB (Outer Loop) past I-66 (Exit 49). Fairfax County, Virginia. Incident clear and all travel lanes are reopened. Delays dissipating.
— MATOC Alerts (@MATOC) June 20, 2019
Map via Google Maps
What began as a robbery of the Sunglass Hut store in Tysons Corner Center turned into a multi-jurisdictional car chase that ended in a major crash.
The incident happened Sunday afternoon. According to NBC 4, Virginia State Police chased a BMW associated with the mall robbery down the Beltway and across the Wilson Bridge into Maryland, before the driver lost control on a highway ramp in D.C., flipping the car violently.
A Virginia State Police spokeswoman confirmed to Tysons Reporter that troopers “initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle wanted by Fairfax County PD for an ongoing criminal investigation.”
“The vehicle refused to stop until it crashed in the District,” said spokeswoman Corinne Geller. “The trooper apprehended two of the vehicle’s three occupants and charged the driver with one felony count of eluding police.”
State police turned over the investigation to Fairfax County Police, Geller said. D.C. police took the lead on trying to track down the third suspect, who fled on foot.
This past New Year’s Day brought new resolutions — and, in Virginia, new state vehicle inspection stickers.
The new stickers were first issued by inspection stations at the beginning of January, according to Virginia State Police.
The stickers are smaller, in response to complaints that the new sticker placement on the bottom left of the windshield, which started in 2018, resulted in reduced visibility for drivers. The stickers also come on a backing that reminds drivers to move over for emergency vehicles stopped along the side of the road.
More from a VSP press release:
The Virginia State Police Safety Division is rolling out a newly-designed vehicle safety approval inspection sticker that now includes a traffic safety message. Effective Jan. 1, 2019, all certified Virginia inspection stations began issuing the sticker which has been reduced from 2.75 inches in height to 2 inches and from 4 inches in length to 3 inches. The year of expiration is now permanently affixed to the right side of the sticker, with the only insert being the month of expiration. Even though the overall size has been reduced, the month has been enlarged to provide better visibility.
“The change in size is in response to the feedback State Police received from Virginians following the sticker’s relocation to the bottom left corner of the windshield in 2018,” said Captain R.C. Maxey Jr., Virginia State Police Safety Division Commander. “We heard from a number of motorists who had difficulty seeing around the sticker, so we worked to reduce its size to slightly smaller than the average credit card.”
The sticker’s security features have also been enhanced in order to discourage and prevent unauthorized removal, tampering and counterfeit practices. The changes in size and design do not apply to motorcycle or trailer safety inspection stickers. Vehicle rejection stickers also remain unchanged.
Another new feature of the inspection sticker enables State Police to reach an estimated 8.2 million motorists annually with a reminder about Virginia’s “Move Over” law. This portion of the sticker is not for display on the front windshield. Instead, it is detached by the inspector and provided to the customer. Virginia’s “Move Over” law requires motorists to move over a lane when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law applies to all vehicles equipped with red, blue and amber lights.
The placement of the sticker was changed in 2018 from the center of the windshield to the bottom, left corner due to safety concerns related to automotive innovations in recent years. The center placement of the sticker could prevent a vehicle’s crash avoidance system from operating properly.
Update at 4 p.m. — Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed Monday, the school system just announced.
All Fairfax County public schools will be closed Mon. Jan. 14, 2019, due to the snow and hazardous travel conditions. School offices and central offices will open 2 hours late, to be opened by 10:00 a.m. (Cond 5) with an unscheduled leave policy in effect for 12-month employees.
— Fairfax Schools (@fcpsnews) January 13, 2019
VDOT crews have been working hard to clear roads throughout Fairfax County, but officials are still urging residents to stay home due to slick conditions.
Earlier this afternoon Virginia State Police said troopers in its Fairfax Division have responded to 34 crashes and 52 disabled vehicles since midnight. Statewide, more than 230 crashes were handled by VSP during that timeframe.
“Drivers be advised — looks can be and are deceiving!” state police said. “Highways may appear to be clear, but slick and icy conditions still exist.”
“On the second day of winter weather across northern Virginia, drivers are asked to continue to avoid unnecessary travel for crews to safely clear accumulating snow,” VDOT urged.
As of 1 p.m., just over 6 inches of snow had fallen on McLean, according to the National Weather Service.
In Tysons, NBC 4’s David Culver has been broadcasting from the parking lot of a local shopping center for most of the day.
The Vienna Community Center is closed today and “all programs, services, and rental activities for today (January 13) are cancelled,” according to the Town of Vienna.
In the City of Falls Church, a snow emergency has been declared and parking restrictions are in place.
Snow Plowing: All roads are treated. Snow Routes are plowed and crews are working on side streets. We expect another front, so we'll make more passes, first concentrating on Snow Routes.
— City of Falls Church (@FallsChurchGov) January 13, 2019
More scenes from around the area, via social media:
@PatsSnowStick Pat – Will your snow stick measure this high?
(Just ran into David Culver who took these pics) I feel like Edmund Hillary climbing this parking lot Mt Everest here in Tysons Corner! Bet no one has climbed this high in your challenge! Big fan! #snowsuitchallenge pic.twitter.com/ZoTGCSHTw3
— Eddie (@WFOcom) January 13, 2019
— Ted Lopatkiewicz (@tedlopat) January 13, 2019
— Jake Kimball (@jakekimball789) January 13, 2019
— Fazli Erdem (@fazli12345) January 13, 2019
— Sam Klein (@Samck22) January 13, 2019
— Circumlocuxon Cannon (@rcannon100) January 13, 2019
Fairfax ICE Arrests Higher Than Some States — “More than 12,000 Fairfax County residents are facing deportation proceedings, surpassing the number of cases in other major localities, including Manhattan, N.Y., and Philadelphia, Pa., and even states like North Carolina and Louisiana, a new report says.” [Fairfax Times]
Officials: Avoid Va. Travel Today — If you had been planning on driving to parts of central, western or southern Virginia today, VDOT and Virginia State Police want you to consider delaying your travel due to snowy conditions. [VDOT, InsideNova]
Hedgehogs May Be Legalized in Fairfax — “Chinchillas, hedgehogs and hermit crabs are one step closer to legalized pet status in Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Planning Commission [on Thursday] approved changing the definition of commonly accepted pets to include all three.” [Reston Now]