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Driver charged with traffic violation for fatal Bailey’s Crossroads motorcycle crash

Westbound Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) at Glen Carlyn Drive (via Google Maps)

The driver involved in last month’s fatal motorcycle crash on Leesburg Pike (Route 7) has been charged with failing to yield on a left turn.

The Fairfax County Police Department announced yesterday (Monday) that its detectives had arrested the 35-year-old man from Bailey’s Crossroads and charged him with the traffic violation. He was released from custody after being served a summons.

An investigation found that the driver was headed west on Leesburg Pike in a 2000 Acura sedan and attempted to turn left onto Glen Carlyn Drive around 11 p.m. on March 10, according to the police.

“This caused the victim, who was riding a motorcycle at the time, to collide with Machado’s vehicle,” the FCPD said.

Alejandro Portillo, a 19-year-old from Arlington, was riding a 1996 Yamaha motorcycle east on Leesburg Pike in the left through-lane when he crashed into the sedan, police said in the initial news release.

Officers responded to the scene in Bailey’s Crossroads around 11:10 p.m. Portillo was taken to a hospital, where he died that evening.

Like in a 2022 crash on West Ox Road that killed a motorcyclist, the police investigation found that the driver’s actions in this case didn’t meet Virginia’s standards for a reckless driving or involuntary manslaughter charge, according to the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Failure to yield the right-of-way can constitute reckless driving under state law, but it only applies in instances where the driver “fails to bring his vehicle to a stop immediately before entering a highway from a side road when there is traffic approaching” within 500 feet of the entrance.

“Though this tragic incident resulted in the death of one of our community members, the charge brought against the defendant is the appropriate one and reflects the alleged facts of the case,” Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office spokesperson Laura Birnbaum said.

Court proceedings in the West Ox Road crash concluded on Feb. 27 with the driver being fined $50, an outcome that “disappointed” the mother of Andrew Dearing, the motorcyclist who was killed.

According to the Fairfax County General District Court, Virginia imposes uniform fines for traffic offenses that can’t be altered by a clerk or magistrate, though it doesn’t restrict the amount that a judge could charge if the case reaches a court hearing. The total for failing to yield on a left turn is $97, including court costs and processing fees.

The driver in the crash that killed Portillo is scheduled to appear in court for an adjudicatory hearing on July 3, according to court records.

Image via Google Maps

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