(Breaking update at 1:35 p.m.) A motorcyclist was killed in a crash in Herndon last night, according to police.
Police say the 22-year-old motorcyclist, Donald Baker, of Sterling, crashed near the McLearen exit on northbound Route 28. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Baker was operating a 2021 Suzuki motorcycle and accelerated when he lost control, struck a guardrail and was thrown from the vehicle, said police, who responded just before midnight.
Officers are on scene of a fatal motorcycle crash on NB 28 near McLearen Rd exit in Herndon. Driver of motorcycle was taken to the hospital & pronounced deceased. Preliminarily, no other vehicle involved. One NB lane on 28 open. Please use other route. pic.twitter.com/XupsH2PsaH
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) October 1, 2021
Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the county’s Crash Reconstruction Unit at 703-280-0543. People can also submit anonymous tips to Crime Solvers by phone, text and online.
Police said a preliminary investigation found no evidence of alcohol or drugs contributing to the crash.
It’s the 11th non-pedestrian fatality in the county this year.
Updated at 4:50 p.m. — All lanes and ramps at the Dulles Toll Road/Route 28 interchange have now reopened.
Earlier: All eastbound lanes on the Dulles Toll Road after Route 28 (Sully Road) in Herndon remain closed after a state police trooper crashed into a motorcycle during a pursuit this morning (Thursday).
According to the Virginia State Police, the pursuit began when a trooper tried to stop a motorcycle for speeding on the Dulles Greenway at 9:42 a.m. The biker had been going 84 miles per hour in a 55 mile-per-hour zone.
“The motorcycle refused to stop for the trooper and sped away at an excessive speed,” the VSP said in a news release. “A pursuit was initiated. The motorcycle continued onto the Dulles Toll Road where its operator lost control and crashed.”
Police clarified in an update that the crash occurred when the biker “pulled off to the shoulder and suddenly braked. The trooper was unable to stop in time and struck the motorcycle.”
The motorcyclist, who has been identified as an adult man, was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital to receive treatment for injuries that police say were life-threatening.
According to the VSP, the motorcyclist reached speeds of up to 130 miles per hour during the pursuit east on the Dulles Toll Road. He was wearing a helmet.
“The crash and pursuit remain under investigation,” state police said. A VSP crash reconstruction team is currently on the scene.
The Dulles Toll Road says all eastbound lanes on the toll road and the Airport Access Highway are closed as of 11:55 a.m. The Virginia Department of Transportation has also closed the ramps from north and southbound Route 28 to the eastbound Dulles Toll Road lanes.
11:55am update: All lanes EB on the Toll Road and Airport Access Highway are currently closed. Follow police direction for detours https://t.co/zlnZhiKquw
— Dulles Toll Road (@Dulles_Toll_Rd) September 2, 2021
All lanes EB onto the @Dulles_Toll_Rd are currently closed due to CRASH involving a Motorcycle. Traffic will be detoured from Greenway to RT 28 South. Follow police direction for detours.
— Dulles Greenway (@GreenwayRt267) September 2, 2021
Photo via Google Maps
After a year off, the two-decade-old Ride of the Patriots in Fairfax is back and ready to rumble.
With the 2020 iteration canceled due to the pandemic, the Memorial Day weekend event and ride is returning to the D.C. area, but it will be scaled down a bit compared to previous years.
It will take place Friday (May 28) through Sunday (May 30) starting at Patriot Harley-Davidson on Fairfax Boulevard in Fairfax.
There will be vendors, food trucks, an appearance from the “Saluting Marine,” and a gathering of bikers.
There will also be two rides, each limited to 225 riders. On Saturday, the ride will begin at 11 a.m., and on Sunday, it will depart from Patriot Harley-Davidson at 11 a.m. to join up with AMVet’s Rolling to Remember in D.C. Registration to ride cost $25.
First held in 1999, the ride’s purpose is to remember and commemorate military veterans, particularly those who fought in the Vietnam War and those who remain missing in action. In recent years, there’s been a focus on veteran suicide.
An average of 17 veterans die by suicide per day, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
In previous years, upwards of 12,000 bikers would join in on the festivities from across Northern Virginia and even the country. But this year, there will be significantly fewer participants.
Kevin Hardy, the event’s organizer since 2017 and marketing director at Patriot Harley-Davidson, thinks there will be about 300 to 400 bikes this year.
Hardy says the constantly changing COVID-19 health regulations over the last few months made it tough to plan for more than that. He’s excited, though, that the end of most capacity limits starting May 28 will allow Ride of the Patriots to happen again this year.
“You don’t want to not have it for two years. I’m a big believer in things being front of mind,” Hardy said. “If you don’t [hold the event], it kinda fades away with time.”
Rolling Thunder, the similar, long-running Memorial Day weekend event, officially ended in 2019, leaving smaller events like Ride of the Patriots to fill the void.
Hardy believes bringing awareness to veteran issues remains of the utmost importance. He also has a personal connection to the topic, with his father being a retired military colonel who served in the U.S. Army for 27 years.
“I think there’s a lot of change going in America today and a lot of what [these veterans] did enabled people to speak their mind and protest certain things,” Hardy said. “A lot of what America is and those rights were fought for by veterans.”
After starting in Fairfax, the Ride of the Patriot will proceed down Route 50 towards the District.
The Fairfax County Police Department confirmed to Reston Now that they will temporarily close Route 50 between Patriot Drive and I-495 “to allow safe passage” for the riders starting around 11 a.m. on Saturday and at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
The hope is that next year’s event will be back to 2019 attendance levels with thousands of bikers making their way down Route 50 to pay their respects to those who have served.
“We’ll be ready to go in 2022 for thousands and thousands of bikes heading from here to D.C. in honor of veterans,” Hardy said.
Photo courtesy Kevin Hardy
Motorcyclist Deaths at Decade High — State officials are reminding motorcyclists to wear their helmets. This year, seven motorcyclist deaths occurred in cases where the rider was not wearing a helmet. [Virginia of Department Motor Vehicles]
Herndon-based Company Secures $50 Million Loan — BlackSky, a satellite imaging company, has secured a loan from Tysons-based firm Intelsat. The two companies are also establishing a commercial partnership to develop data and imagery products. [Space News]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Local residents and family members are remembering South Lakes High School teacher Simon Chang — who was killed in a motorcycle crash last week — for his spirited energy, enthusiasm and caring personality.
Friends and family have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Chang’s son Benaiah.
Chang, 38, of Ashburn, died after his motorcycle crashed near a wooded area along Alliance Drive in Fairfax. A groundskeeper discovered his body on August 22. He was reported missing on August 19.
So far, the campaign has collected nearly $13,000.
“Simon will be remembered for his spirited energy and enthusiasm. He had a gift of blessing those around him with his encouraging words and humor. His laugh was contagious and brought people together,” wrote Greg Lee, the campaign’s organizer. “He served God with passion and sacrifice wholeheartedly as a missionary for International House of Prayer. He had a passion for positivity influencing the youth as a teacher and basketball coach for South Lakes High School. He was dearly loved by those who knew him.”
Chang was an emotional disabilities teacher and basketball coach at SLHS. Kim Retzer, the school’s principal told Reston Now that Chang will be remembered for his caring personality.
“Mr. Chang was a beloved staff member who touched the lives of the students he taught and coached. He will be remembered by students and staff alike for his caring nature and he will always be a part of the Seahawk family,” Retzer said.
Although Chang had only been with the basketball program for a short time, Andrew Duggan, the school’s assistant director of student activities said he had a big impact on the time.
“He was a valuable person in our program for the last three seasons. While his time in our program was short, he had a big impact on our players. His contribution on the court and classroom will be missed at South Lakes,” Duggan said.
Proceeds from the GoFundMe will facilitate Benaiah’s “healthy growth and development.”
Photo via GoFundMe
A South Lakes High School teacher who was reported missing earlier this month was identified as the motorcyclist found dead Thursday near Fairfax County Parkway.
Simon Chang, 39, of Ashburn, was a special education teacher and a member of the boys basketball coaching staff. He was reported missing on August 16.
The news comes just days before students return to SLHS. Kim Retzer, the school’s principal, wrote the following message to parents about Chang’s passing:
The South Lakes High School community is mourning the death of one of our teachers, Simon Chang. As a special education teacher and member of the boys basketball coaching staff, Mr. Chang was as a beloved member of the Seahawk family. He will be remembered for his positivity and dedication to our staff and students. He will be greatly missed. We have been in contact with Mr. Chang’s family to offer our condolences and support.
We feel it is important for you to be aware of this situation so that you can provide any support your children might need. Our counselors and an FCPS crisis team will be available Monday to meet with any students or staff who need assistance. All staff will have information on where to direct students who need support. We are taking every step we can to be responsive to the needs of our students and families. Please reach out if there are ways we can support you.
Our thoughts are with Mr. Chang’s family and friends during this difficult time.
Police believe Chang was riding a motorcycle from Lee Highway to northbound Fairfax County Parkway when the motorcycle ran off the shoulder of the ramp and drove into a wooded area near a pond.
Chang’s body was found on Thursday, August 23 after a groundskeeper found the wreckage.
Detective do not believe other vehicles were involved in the accident. It is unclear if speed or alcohol were factors.
Photo via Loudoun County Government
Local police are investigating a crash involving two motorcycles that happened in late May.
A driver was turning left at the intersection of Reston Parkway and Lawyers Road on May 25 when another motorcyclist collided into his bike.
Donald Collins was arrested for a DWI and was taken to Reston Hospital Center for treatment, according to an affidavit filed on June 5.
FCPD’s Reston District Station also reported the following minor incidents in recent days:
1600 block of Bentana Way, property from residence
1200 block of Browns Mill Court, document from vehicle
12400 block of Cliff Edge Drive, documents from residence
1700 block of Club House Road, property from business
Frying Pan Road/Thomas Jefferson Drive, wheels from vehicle
1400 block of Kingsvale Circle, cash from vehicle
1800 block of Michael Faraday Drive, purse from location
12200 block of Parkstream Terrace, keys from vehicle
1800 block of Presidents Street, wallet from location
1400 block of Kingsvale Circle, 2012 Chevrolet Traverse