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
Fairfax County Mass Vaccine Site Adds Evening Hours — The community vaccination center at Tysons Corner will extend its operating hours to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting tomorrow (June 8). The site is scheduled to close on June 26 as Virginia focuses its COVID-19 vaccine campaign on smaller, more mobile clinics instead of large-scale, standing sites. [Tysons Reporter]
Police Pursuit Town Hall Set for Thursday — The Fairfax County Police Department will hold a virtual town hall on Thursday (June 10) to get community input on proposed changes to its policy on vehicle pursuits. The new policy will place more limits on the kinds of situations when officers can engage in a pursuit in response to safety concerns. [Jeff McKay/Twitter]
Sterling Regal Movie Theater Sold to Homebuilder — “A team led by Willard Retail has sold the site of the shuttered Regal Countryside multiplex in Sterling for $22 million to Beazer Homes, more than a year after winning approval from the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to redevelop the property as a 166-unit stacked townhome development.” [Washington Business Journal]
Democrats Make Final Primary Push — “Armies of door-knockers are fanning out across Virginia neighborhoods this weekend as Democrats make their final campaign push before selecting nominees for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general in primary elections on Tuesday…Democratic voters will select their statewide candidates to go up against a Republican slate that was chosen by convention a month ago, setting the stage for what could be the most expensive Virginia gubernatorial election ever.” [The Washington Post]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
(Updated at 7:30 p.m.) Fairfax County is cutting back on what’s allowed to start a police vehicle pursuit, including eliminating the leading cause of pursuits.
At a meeting late last month with the Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee, Police Chief Kevin Davis outlined some of the changes that he said will help bring Fairfax County in line with other regional jurisdictions.
“It gets to the basic question: is it worth it to pursue this person,” Davis said. “When we looked at our policy, we found that it was not consistent with surrounding jurisdictions.”
Davis said the department has reduced the number of “pursuit opportunities” including for traffic violations, which were previously the biggest cause for vehicle pursuits.
“That’s our largest number of pursuits,” Davis said. “That will significantly reduce the number of pursuits.”
The change comes as increasing urbanization in Fairfax County creates concerns that pursuits are more likely to lead to injuries for those involved in a pursuit or bystanders.
Five possible reasons for pursuit are eliminated under the new regulations:
- Misdemeanor offense with the threat/use of violence
- Non-violent felonies
- Certain misdemeanors
- Traffic charges
- Assistance to outside police that doesn’t meet FCPD standards
That last change means Fairfax County police officers will not join in a pursuit if the cause of pursuit falls outside of the new guidelines.
Major Robert Blakley said this brings Fairfax County in line with most of its neighbors and will make it easier for police to understand.
“We wanted to increase the clarity for our supervisors and officers, who have to make these split second decisions,” Blakley said, “so they don’t have to recall 47 pages but can hone in on a few key objectives.”
Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust praised the change.
“This is so much better than the current [policy],” Foust said. “We’ve had some bad incidents. This is going to save lives, so I’m really excited about it.”
Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, on the other hand, had reservations about the change: worrying it would tie police’s hands and keep them from stopping dangerous behavior.
“My big concern is always the unintended consequences…where we can’t pull over the loud cars anymore proliferating throughout the county,” Herrity said. “What I worry is, when you take this away, the criminals know the laws as much, if not better than, we do. You look on the TV and you see groups of ATVs rolling through National Harbor, endangering civilians, and they’re not doing anything other than traffic violation so there’s no pursuit.”
Davis said the issue had come up as much or more than any other over the last several months, adding that there’s room in the policy for commanders to use discretion to authorize pursuits if deemed necessary.
“We’re not going to ignore those behaviors because they are very dangerous, and if they fit the pursuit criteria, it will be addressed accordingly,” he said. “We will have to find other creative ways, whether with aviation or cameras, to identify these folks because it is very dangerous.”
The FCPD public affairs office said the department is planning a public input session next week to allow for more discussion on the topic, though no date has been decided yet.
A man allegedly assaulted a child, carjacked a pick-up truck and led police on a chase that culminated with a car crash that sent eight people to the hospital late Wednesday night. The suspect, a woman and five children remain in the hospital.
Brendan Stefon Vinson, 28, of Adelphi, faces multiple charges, including carjacking, speed to elude, two assaults on police officers and receiving stolen property. Police were called for back-up at the hospital as the suspect attempted to wrestle out of his handcuffs.
The incident began when the Fairfax County Police Department responded to a report about a child being assaulted on the 6100 block of Early Autumn Drive at around 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday. They learned a man randomly knocked on the door of a home and hit a young child who was at the door, police said. The suspect fled the area in a stolen car that police believe was taken from Hyattsville around 6 p.m.
A flurry of events continued as the suspect crashed into a pick-up truck at Stone Road and Lee Highway and carjacked the driver. Police believe he then stole a trailer and attached it to the pick-up truck. When police began chasing the vehicle, the suspect ran a red light at the intersection of Centreville Road and Frying Pan Road. He then rammed into a mini van in the intersection, sending five children and a woman to the hospital. One child was ejected from the car and flown to the hospital. The child remains in critical condition.
The suspect attempted to escape by foot at the intersection. As police caught the man, he injured two police officers in an attempt to ward off police. Both victims who were assaulted by the suspect also sustained minor injuries.
Police said they are still investigating multiple scenes relating to this incident. Police officers injured in the incident are recovering and expected to return to work, police said.
Photos via FCPD