The Fairfax County Police Department is still investigating the fatal hit-and-run crash that took place on Fairfax County Parkway in Reston earlier this week.

According to an update published by the department this morning (Friday), officers responded to the intersection at Walnut Branch Road just after 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Sept. 1) after receiving a report that an SUV had run a red light and hit a car.

The SUV driver fled the scene after the crash and has still not been located, despite an extensive search that included the FCPD’s K9 unit and a helicopter.

The driver of the car — a 2013 Volkswagen Passat — has been identified as Andrew Willingham, 37, of Reston. He died Wednesday in the hospital where he was transported after the crash by responders from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

According to the FCPD, its Crash Reconstruction Unit detectives have determined that Willingham was trying to make a left turn from northbound Fairfax County Parkway onto Walnut Branch when the crash occurred.

Though Willingham had a green arrow, the driver of a 2006 Chevrolet SUV “disregarded the red signal” when he arrived at the intersection while traveling south on Fairfax County Parkway. The SUV drove through the intersection and hit the car.

“Detectives believe speed may have been a factor in the crash and continue to investigate to determine if alcohol was also a factor for the driver of the SUV,” Fairfax County police said. “Speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors for the driver of the car.”

As reported on Wednesday, police say the SUV driver was described as a heavy-set Hispanic man who was between 5 foot, 6 inches and 6 feet tall. He reportedly wore a black, short-sleeved shirt over a white undershirt.

“He was also described as having a beard and shaggy hair,” the FCPD added in its update today.

The FCPD advises anyone who witnessed the crash or might have information about it to contact its detectives at 703-280-0543. Information can also be submitted anonymously through the department’s Crime Solvers tip line online or by phone (1-866-411-TIPS).

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Fairfax County police are on the lookout for a man who was involved in a fatal hit-and-run crash on Fairfax County Parkway in Reston.

Officers are currently on the scene at the Walnut Branch Road intersection, the Fairfax County Police Department reported at 8:41 p.m. today (Wednesday).

The crash apparently involved two vehicles. One driver was taken to the hospital, where he ultimately died. The driver of the other car that police say instigated the encounter left the scene on foot.

Police describe the driver as a “heavy” Hispanic man with long hair who was wearing a black shirt.

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Morning Notes

Radio control sailboat captains at Lake Anne (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Reston Woman Dies After Car Crash — Stephanie D. Garcia, 29, of Reston died at Fairfax Inova Hospital on Aug. 8 from injuries she sustained the previous day in a two-car crash on I-95 at the 169-mile marker in Springfield. Reportedly not wearing a seatbelt, Garcia was thrown from her car when another vehicle struck it head on while she was making a U-turn. The other driver was transported to a hospital for treatment of serious injuries. [Virginia State Police]

D.C. Restaurant Week Returns — The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s summer D.C. Restaurant Week kicked off yesterday (Monday) and will last through Sunday (Aug. 15), with many participants again offering to-go options. Reston-area venues include Founding Farmers, Makers Union, The Melting Pot, and more. [Viva Tysons]

Construction on Autumnwood Pickleball Courts Begins — “Construction has begun on the permanent pickleball courts at the Autumnwood Recreation facility. Pickleball players have been temporarily moved to courts 3 and 4. Tennis will no longer be played at Autumnwood until the new pickleball courts are finished in September. When construction has been completed, tennis will resume at Autumnwood.” [RA News]

General Assembly Approves COVID Relief Plan — “The General Assembly on Monday approved a spending plan for $4.3 billion in federal coronavirus relief money, with lawmakers leaving about $1.1 billion unappropriated so it is available for future needs if the pandemic worsens…The plan calls for using $800 million of the American Rescue Plan money to replenish the state’s unemployment trust fund, $700 million for rural broadband, $411 million on clean-water projects, $353 million for small-business relief and $250 million for school ventilation systems.” [The Washington Post]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

Morning Notes

Bench flowers at Vantage Hill (via vantagehill/Flickr)

CDC Updates Mask Guidance — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends masks indoors in places with high or substantial COVID-19 transmission and in schools nationwide, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. The Virginia Department of Health told Reston Now that it is analyzing the new guidance. “We continue to emphasize that the only way out of this pandemic is through vaccination,” VDH said in a statement. [Associated Press]

Plastic Bag Tax Public Hearing Scheduled — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors authorized a public hearing for 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 to gather community input on a proposed five-cent tax on disposable plastic bags. If the ordinance is approved, Fairfax County would be the second locality in Virginia to adopt a bag tax. [Fairfax County Government]

Reston Woman Freed After Being Trapped Under Car — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue personnel extricated a woman who was found trapped under her car in a parking lot in the 1700 block of Reston Parkway around 11:58 p.m. on Monday (July 26). Police believe she had failed to fully shift into park, leading the car to roll backward into her after she exited the vehicle. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital to get treatment for injuries that were not life-threatening. [Patch]

Metro to Tweak Railcar Announcements — “Metro is changing the announcements on its railcars at the request of its Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC). The new message moves the most important information, what train line and destination it is, to the front…Phil Posner, chair of the AAC, says the change is beneficial for those with low vision, hearing, or low mobility and people new to the system.” [DCist]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Van Gogh bridge at Lake Anne (photo via vantagehill/Flickr)

Gun Discharged in Reston — According to Fairfax County police, a homeowner in the 1700 block of Torrey Pines Court reported hearing gunshots around 2:49 a.m. on Thursday (June 10). The individual found damage to a car and property, but no injuries were reported. Officers located cartridge casings nearby. [FCPD]

Teen Injured in Herndon Car Crash — A 14-year-old boy was hit by an SUV at the intersection of Centreville Road and Parcher Avenue in Herndon on Friday (June 11). The boy was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, police said. [FCPD/Twitter]

County Health Department Took on New Roles during Pandemic — The Fairfax County Health Department ceased in-person inspections of food establishments, pivoting instead to a virtual process intended “to minimize possible COVID transmission between Health Department staff and restaurant employees.” Other staff in the food safety program shifted responsibilities, such as working call centers or supporting vaccination clinics. [Fairfax County Times]

How Northern Virginia Is Spending COVID-19 Relief Funds — “Fairfax County, Virginia’s most populous jurisdiction, expects to receive $200 million of Rescue Plan funds over the next two years, officials there said. So far, $50 million of that has been dedicated to specific uses: to help the hard-hit hospitality industry and, over the longer term, to preserve and create more affordable housing in the county, officials said.” [The Washington Post]

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Morning Notes

COVID-19 Capacity Limits End in Virginia — Virginia officially lifted all capacity and social distancing requirements instituted for COVID-19 on Friday (May 28). Masks are still required in some settings, including in schools and on public transit, and the Virginia Department of Health says people who are not fully vaccinated should still wear a face covering and practice social distancing in public settings. [Fairfax County Health Department]

Police Investigate Fatal Great Falls Car Crash — “Around 10:53 p.m., Salavdro Alvarez Perez of Maryland, 24, was driving alone and heading east on Georgetown Pike when his 2021 Toyota Corrolla left the road, hit a fence and mailbox, then flipped over, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives from the Crash Reconstruction Unit believe alcohol may have contributed to the crash and are investigating whether speed was also a factor.” [Patch]

Amanda Drive in Great Falls Reopens Tomorrow — “On or about Wednesday, June 2, 2021, drivers will experience traffic pattern changes on side streets between Utterback Store Road and Riva Ridge Drive as Amanda Drive reopens to traffic at Route 7. All residences, businesses and other public facilities will remain accessible…As a reminder, the Route 7 speed limit has been reduced to 45 miles per hour in active work zones between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive.” [VDOT]

The Water Mine Opens After Weather-Related DelayThe Water Mine in Reston officially kicked off the summer 2021 season on Memorial Day (May 31), but the opening was delayed until noon due to “low temperatures.” The water park will be open on the weekends until June 12, when operating hours expand to seven days a week. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

Extent of In-Person Learning Varies Across D.C. Region — About 60% of the roughly 700,000 students in the D.C. area have been learning entirely online since March 2020. The number of students who have received some in-person instruction over the past year ranges from nearly 60% in Arlington and about half of all students in Fairfax County to just 28% in D.C. and Prince George’s County. [The Washington Post]

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Updated at 11:45 — The fatality and crash numbers in this article from the DMV reflect statistics for Northern Virginia, not just Fairfax County as previously stated. The Fairfax County Police Department says that the county’s fatality and crash rates are much lower.

With 38 pedestrian fatalities, 2019 was the deadliest year in the last decade to walk in Northern Virginia, according to Virginia DMV data.

The number of deaths dropped to 29 in 2020, but the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and county transportation officials are still working on strategies to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety with a countywide initiative.

“Unfortunately our incidents of pedestrian fatalities and crashes continue to be at unacceptable levels,” FCDOT bicycle and pedestrian program manager Chris Wells said during a transportation committee meeting yesterday (Tuesday). “Due to a number of factors, those numbers are trending up — not just in Fairfax, but in Virginia and across the United States.”

Bicycling is safer, but crash rates are still high: 216 crashes in 2019, and 157 in 2020.

Wells added that certain portions of Fairfax County’s population are disproportionately affected by pedestrian crashes, a trend that has been documented nationwide.

The county hopes to reverse these statistics. Wells told supervisors that FCDOT and VDOT have recently improved walking and cycling conditions by programming head starts into signals for pedestrians, re-striping four-lane roads as two-lane roads, and installing rapid-flashing beacons for crosswalks without lights.

VDOT awarded FCDOT $1.2 million last year to install nine more flashing beacons, bringing the county’s total to 17, Wells said.

VDOT also has a pedestrian safety action plan for improving safety along particularly dangerous corridors. In Fairfax County, the highest-priority roads are Columbia Pike, Little River Turnpike, Richmond Highway, Lee Highway, Lee-Jackson Memorial Highway, Braddock Road, and Ox Road.

Officials said that work on roads in Fairfax County is a lengthy process compared to other jurisdictions, because VDOT owns the roads.

“They’ve really stepped up this year to help us to advance pedestrian safety in a way that we have not seen in years past,” FCDOT Director Tom Biesiadny said.

Looking ahead, supervisors suggested introducing better lighting and longer crossing times at mid-block crosswalks. They are also still interested in reducing speeds in the county.

FCDOT officials said a multiagency group, including transportation officials and attorneys, is working through the logistics of speed cameras. Meanwhile, VDOT is preparing to examine where speed limits can be lowered.

Chart and map via Virginia DMV data dashboards

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Great Falls Woman Dies in Two-car Crash — Holly Kuga, 72, died as a result of injuries from a car crash that happened on Sunday around 11 a.m. at the intersection of Leesburg Pike and Towlston Road. [Fairfax  County Police Department]

Two People Injured in Crash — Two people were taken to the hospital with injuries after a crash happened in the area of Reston Parkway. North of Sunset Hills Road yesterday evening. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Reston Cybersecurity Firm Hit by ‘State-sponsored’ Attack — “US cybersecurity firm FireEye says it has recently been attacked by a “highly sophisticated threat actor”, believing the hacking was state-sponsored. In a blog, FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia said company tools used for testing customers’ security had been stolen.[BBC]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Friday Morning Notes

Blackboard to Sublease Half of Reston Headquarters — “Blackboard Inc., which has played a role in helping school systems shift to online learning amid the Covid-19 pandemic, is hoping to shed half of the headquarters space it leased in Reston nearly two years ago as part of a relocation from its longtime home in the District.” [Washington Business Journal]

County Offers Job Training — “The Fairfax County Department of Family Services is able to reskill and upskill job seekers recovering from the impacts of the global pandemic. Focusing on high-demand skills, eligible Virginians can access free training in five essential industries.” [Fairfax County Government]

Deaths Increase in Virginia During Thanksgiving Holiday Traffic — “Ten people died on Virginia roadways over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to the Virginia State Police. One of the deaths was a 6-year-old boy. From Nov. 25 through Nov. 29, the state police reported eight fatal crashes, leading to the 10 deaths, an increase from 2019 when there were eight traffic deaths during the five-day Thanksgiving period.” [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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A morning car crash in Reston involving three vehicles has left two people injured, including one with serious injuries.

Both people were taken to the hospital, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

The crash happened on the intersection of Pinecrest Road and Fox Mill Road in Reston.

Fox Mill Road between Pinecrest Road and Reston Parkway is closed. Officers are on the scene and detectives from FCPD’s crash reconstruction unit are investigating the incident

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A Herndon resident was killed in a car crash last night in Herndon, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

Jonathan Szott, 30, was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Police believe Szott was driving a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee on a northbound lane on Centreville Road when he turned onto eastbound McLearen Road, crossed the center median, and crashed into a tow truck in the westbound lanes.

No other injuries were reported. FCPD said it is unclear if speed or alcohol were factors in the crash.

Anyone with information should contact FCPD’s crash construction unit at 703-280-0543.

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Fairfax County police say a 64-year-old man died in a crash involving two vehicles in Great Falls yesterday.

The crash happened shortly before 5 p.m. in the 700 block of Walker Road — near the Great Falls Elementary School and Arnon Cemetery.

“A preliminary investigation determined the Ford F350 was traveling eastbound on Walker Road when it crossed over the double yellow, left the roadway and struck the Dodge Ram that tried to avoid the crash,” police said. “Subsequently, the Ford F350 struck a utility pole and overturned back onto the roadway.”

Police said today that Billy White, the driver of the Ford, died at the scene. The driver of the Dodge Ram was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Detectives are investigating the crash. They do not believe alcohol was a factor, but are looking into whether speed or a medical emergency contributed to the crash, police said.

Anyone with information about the crash can contact the Crash Reconstruction Unit at 703-280-0543.

Image via Google Maps

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A two-car crash along Springvale Road has sent one person to the hospital with minor injuries and caused the road to close.

Fairfax County sent out an alert about the crash and road closure near the intersection of Parkerhouse Drive at 9:46 a.m. today (Friday).

Sgt. James Curry, a police spokesperson, told Reston Now that one person was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The road is currently closed in both directions, Curry said that it is expected to reopen soon.

Image via Google Maps 

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A felony hit and run incident closed Reston Parkway at Stevenage round today (Wednesday) shortly after midnight.

Police believe a man driving a black 2016 Honda Fit was traveling northbound on Reston Parkway when he crossed over into opposing traffic on the other side of the road and hit a black 2003 Toyota Corolla.

The man attempted to flee the scene by foot, but was caught after a helicopter-assisted pursuit. The suspect, whose name has not been publicly released, was taken to a local hospital after he was bitten by a police K9.

Police said the man was “combative” when officers attempted to arrest him. Charges are pending.

No other information about the incident was released publicly.

This story has been updated.

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A South Lakes High School student was killed in a car crash on Sunday (November 3) in Oakton.

Carter Smith, a junior at the school, was one of five passengers in the car, which was travelling eastbound on Stuart Mill Road around 6:30 p.m. that day when the car ran off the right shoulder and hit a tree, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

Five teenagers who were in the car at the time were taken to local hospitals. The driver remains in life-threatening condition. The SLHS student was pronounced dead at the hospital and the three other passengers were treated for injuries that are not life-threatening.

Police believe speed may have been a factor in the accident. Preliminarily, alcohol and drugs do not appear to be factors that led to the crash.

With permission of Smith’s parents, SLHS Principal Kimberly Retzer released information about Smith.

On Monday (Nov. 4), Retzer wrote the following in a letter to the SLHS community:

Our sincere condolences are extended to family and friends of all involved, and to all members of our community who may be hearing of this terrible incident. I will maintain contact with the family and share about funeral services as that information becomes available.The unexpected death of a young person is very sad and difficult to process and can have an impact on anyone, whether they knew the person or not. South Lakes will provide counselors and clinical team members tomorrow, Tuesday, from 9:00AM to 12:00PM. Students should gather in the Lecture Hall. We will have additional supports on Wednesday as well when all students return.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact FCPD’s crash reconstruction unit at 703-280-0543.

No other information about the incident has been released.

File photo

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