Dulles Toll Road after Route 28 in Herndon (via Google Maps)

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.

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Lake Anne Plaza fountain in August (via vantagehill/Flickr)

COVID-19 Vaccine Recommended for Pregnant People — “COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone 12 years and older, including those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or would like to get pregnant. The rise in COVID-19 cases, low vaccine uptake among pregnant people, and the increased risk of severe illness during pregnancy make vaccination more urgent than ever.” [Fairfax County Health Department]

Local Cycling Studio Announces Vaccine Requirement — Starting Sept. 1, New Trail Cycling in Lake Anne Plaza will require patrons to provide proof that they’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to take an indoor class. Owner Liz Camp says she’s not aware of any other businesses in the Reston and Herndon area with a similar policy but felt it’s a necessary extra step to keep people safe and healthy as cases rise. [New Trail Cycling]

Police Union Supports Eliminating Ticket-Writing Quotas — The Virginia Police Benevolent Association, which represents 750 state troopers, says it’s working with the General Assembly on a law that would prohibit law enforcement agencies from imposing quotas on officers, saying that approach is outdated and leads to more negative interactions with the public. Virginia State Police officials deny using quotas, but emails suggest troopers are evaluated in part by how many tickets they write. [WTOP]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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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

Prosecutor Calls for State Investigation of Traffic Stop — Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano has called on Virginia State Police to conduct an internal investigation of a potential violation of the state’s new ban on pulling people over for dark taillights. The county has dropped all charges against a Black woman who was pulled over on the Capital Beltway by a state trooper. [Associated Press/WTOP]

Metro Behind on Safety and Training Protocols — A Washington Metrorail Safety Commission audit of Metro’s signal and automatic train control system found that the transit system has failed to keep up “with preventive maintenance, lacks needed safety certifications and is not training employees on how to maintain the system’s complex equipment and machinery.” [The Washington Post]

Association Drive Among Endangered Historic PlacesPreservation Virginia included Reston’s Association Drive Historic District among Virginia’s Most Endangered Historic Places, a list released each May to mark National Historic Preservation Month. The business park is considered threatened because of the Soapstone Connector project. [Independent-Messenger]

Reston Business Owner Featured on Today Show — Reston resident Radhika Murari appeared on The Today Show yesterday for an Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month segment that highlighted her work as the founder of OmMade Peanut Butter. [Supervisor Walter Alcorn/Twitter]

Photo by Fred Dews/Twitter

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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.”

Photo via FCPD, map via Virginia DMV

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Virginia State Police Issue Alert for Missing Reston Resident — The state’s police department issued an alert for missing Reston resident Michael Delaney, 75, who was last seen leaving Reston Hospital Center on May 10. Local police have suspended an active search for the Reston resident, who suffers from a cognitive impairment. [Virginia State Police]

Good Deed Alert: Stuff the Bus is Today — Fastran buses will be parked at locations throughout the county for donations. The Reston location is at the Hunter Mill District Supervisor’s Office, which is located at 1801 Cameron Glen Drive. Donations from that location will go directly Cornerstones. [Fairfax County Government]

Reston Man Charged with Second DWI — “A man was arrested in Ashburn May 14 after reportedly causing a vehicle collision while impaired, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies responded to the 44000 block of Allderwood Terrace around 9:24 a.m. and reportedly found the striking driver to be under the influence of alcohol. Julio F. Aragon, 30, of Reston, was charged with driving while intoxicated — his second offense.” [Loudoun Times-Mirror]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Virginia State Police arrested a Caroline County Man and a juvenile in connection with a carjacking that started in Reston on Wednesday (June 19).

Police believe Jaquan McNeil, 21, of Ruther Glen, and a juvenile suspect, assaulted a man as he was leaving his car on the 11400 block of Isaac Newtown Square at around 5 a.m.

The suspects then stole the BMW X5 and sped down I-95 when state police spotted them, according to police.

An officer spotted the car traveling south near a line marker in Prince William County and called more troopers to help. As police approached, the car swerved suddenly to the right shoulder and sped away from approaching law enforcement.

The pursuit continued for some time until the car crashed into a curve on the exit ramp and struck the guardrail.

McNeil fled the scene on foot, but was arrested a short while later. He was charged with one felony count of eluding police, one count of driving on a suspended license, one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count of reckless driving. McNeil is being held at the Stafford County Jail. 

The 15-year-old passenger was taken into custody without incident. Both suspects declined medical assistance for injuries that happened during the crash.

Police continue to investigate the incident.

Logo via Virginia State Police

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Crash in Rockingham County/Credit: Virginia State Police

A 30-year-old Reston man was killed last week when he crashed the stolen car he was driving in Rockbridge County, Virginia State Police officials said.

State Police said the crash happened Friday around 5:50 a.m. on Route 850 near Lexington, Va.

Authorities said the 2007 Lexus Rx-350 involved in the crash was stolen from Fairfax County last week.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Bradley Charles Kilpatrick of Reston. State police say Kilpatrick was not wearing a seatbelt and died at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.

According to Fairfax County Court records, Kilpatrick had a long list of driving and car theft charges in the last several years. Among them: Grand Larceny Auto Theft (three charges), driving with a suspended license, and fugitive from an arrest warrant.

Photo courtesy of Virginia State Police

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