36°Partly Cloudy

Pedestrian Seriously Injured on Sunset Hills

by Karen Goff November 27, 2015 at 11:40 am 16 Comments

Accident on Sunset Hills

Updated, 4:30 p.m. Friday with more information from police

A 47-year-old man was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital Friday morning after he was struck by the driver of a Chevrolet Impala while he was crossing Sunset Hills Road.

Fairfax County Police said the accident occurred about 10:50 a.m. in the 14900 block of Sunset Hills between Isaac Newton Square and Plaza America Drive. There is neither a light nor a crosswalk at that location.

The pedestrian suffered life-threatening injuries, police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said. The driver of the car, who lives in Reston and was heading eastbound on Sunset Hills, was not injured. He was also not charged, police said.

  • shagga

    +1 to Karen, thanks for keeping us informed over the holidays!

  • Mike M

    This comes as no surprise. I see bad moves by bicyclists in Reston almost daily. They seem to presume they have automatic right of way.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    My wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured pedestrian.

  • Bruce Wright

    Police generally refer to these incidents as crashes vs. accidents. The word accident implies the incident was unavoidable and that nothing could have been done to prevent it. A crash is often not accidental and could be prevented.

    In some countries in Europe when a motorist hits a pedestrian or bicyclist, the motorist is liable unless they can prove there was nothing they could do to prevent the crash. They are driving a large, deadly weapon and need to be extra careful around bicyclists and pedestrians.

    • Safe Driver

      And pedestrians and bicyclists should stay out of the way of one to two-ton machines hurtling down streets, especially when they are not in a designated crosswalk or bike lane. In these cases, they are at fault for causing the “crash” even if they suffer most from it.

      • Bruce Wright

        This is a good educational opportunity. It isn’t ok to hit pedestrians when they are not in a crosswalk. It’s not illegal to cross the road outside of a crosswalk. According to 46.2-923 “Where intersections contain no marked crosswalks, pedestrians shall not be guilty of negligence as a matter of law for crossing at any such intersection or between intersections when crossing by the most direct route.” By saying a pedestrian was not in the crosswalk implies the pedestrian was not at fault which may not be the case.

        Bicyclists are allowed to ride on any road where they are not restricted such as an interstate highway, not just in a bike lane. Even if there is a bike lane they are not required to use it, especially when there is debris in the bike lane or it’s located in the door zone. Bicyclists have every legal right to ride on almost all roads in Fairfax County and motorists must legally give them 3 feet when passing and can’t tailgate them or harass them by honking the horn.

        Will bicyclists or pedestrians lose when encountering a motor vehicle? Of course, all the more reason for motorists to be especially careful whenever they see cyclists and pedestrians on or near the road.

        This discourse wouldn’t be necessary if commenters didn’t insist on blaming vulnerable pedestrians whenever they are involved in a crash. Isn’t there an old saying that “Might does not make right.”

        • Mike M

          Bruce, according to the laws of physics, this pedestrian is dead because he got in front of traffic. According to Virginia law, it actually is OK to strike a pedestrian when they do something wacky. All the more reason for pedestrians to watch what they are doing?

          Frankly, you have no point, unless you want to encourage more irresponsible pedestrian activities.

    • Mike M

      Do pedestrians and bicyclists have any personal responsibility? In this country. If you prefer Europe, I will gladly help you pack. In this case the pedestrian is dead. So, looking back what would have been best? The pedestrian take some personal responsibility and no lives are ruined, or we throw the driver in jail and two lives are ruined? Go live in Europe Bruce.

      • Ming the Merciless

        As soon as bike riders obey the traffic laws, as they are actually supposed to do, I’ll be somewhat more impressed with his argument. Right now, you can see bicyclists flagrantly ignoring the laws every day. They sail through stop signs and red lights without even looking, let alone stopping. I am surprised more of them don’t get hit.


    Honestly, with drivers trying to get around a pedestrian crossing the road – rushing, squeeling wheels, or not paying attention – I feel most compelled to cross the road at my own risk, on my own time, and when I feel it’s safe. The same is true when I am on my bike. I recently used a cross walk on my bike when a driver cut me off, not from the turning lane but from the far outside lane basically coming out of nowhere. In all cases it’s difficult for a pedestrian or a biker especially to use a smartphone while in motion, so blame in most cases hoes to the motorist. It’s ironic that the police publishes accident statistics on DUI cases frequently but will not release or compile stats on technology distracted drivers even though the data is more easily available than a breathalyzer test. So that just confirms what I ve been thinking, nobody basically cares.

    • Ming the Merciless

      It is not so much the distraction but the fact that the driver simply can’t see you. Haven’t you noticed this when you’ve driven a car yourself?

    • Grandpa Jack

      I think a new, different kind of bowling should be “carpet bowling.” It’s just
      like regular bowling, only the lanes are carpet instead of wood. I don’t know
      why we should do this, but my God, we’ve got to try something!

  • Life in Hell

    To help you pack is not the solution to the problem. Fact is, just as in the old days, it’s always the same people who whip their horse to near death and it’s always the same people who endorse this type of behaviour. Trade the horse for a car and you end up with the same minority of folks that abuse the priviledge. I would say let’s target this minority and re educate them, as Bruce did. For those that cannot be re educated I only see one solution, they have to live their lives over and over until they get it right, in other words they are reborn on the message boards to relive pain and suffering until the power goes off. Basically it’s called hell and to those punished it may not seem like it, but for most others it’s quite obvious.

    • Mike M

      I think you and Grandpa Jack ought to get together for an earnest discussion. Perhaps you will understand each other. I don’t understand either of you, but I give the edge to Grandpa.

  • meh

    Pedestrians have the right of way, unless they’re in the way. Maybe this will serve as a lesson for the myriad of bikers that think the rules of physics and traffic do not apply to them

  • Constance (Connie) Hartke

    Paul & I hope the pedestrian will be all right. If anyone has an update on him/her, please post.

    The car was driving east in the morning – I have experienced the blinding sun along this area. The Restonian has a photo of what that looks like driving east on a sunny morning (see 2nd photo): http://www.restonian.org/2015/11/bikeshare-where-bikes-aren.html


Subscribe to our mailing list