The Fairfax County Police Department’s motor squad encountered an emergency of its own while responding to an incident early this afternoon.
A motorcycle officer was seriously injured in a collision with a Jeep on Braddock Road that police believe was attempting to get out of the squad’s way, FCPD Public Affairs Bureau Commander Lt. Dan Spital said at a media briefing.
“Our officer had serious injuries,” Spital said. “At this point, he’s conscious and alert. We’re praying first for recovery for him, but we’re lucky it wasn’t more serious than it could’ve been.”
According to Spital, the motor officers were traveling west on Braddock near George Mason University’s Fairfax campus in response to an emergency situation elsewhere in Fairfax County.
When they passed through the Roanoke River Road intersection shortly after 12:30 p.m., a silver Jeep in the middle lane noticed the police lights and sirens and started to merge into the right lane, where two officers were riding.
“One of the officers was able to avoid the vehicle that cut in front of them. Unfortunately, one of our motor officers was unable to avoid a collision,” Spital said. “A motor officer did strike the back of a Jeep and was thrown from his motorcycle, and he hit the pavement.”
Officers are on scene of crash involving an FCPD motor officer at Braddock Rd & Roanoke River Rd. Officer taken to hospital with serious injuries. Braddock Rd is closed. Please use another route. pic.twitter.com/UT8Hfq7PbR
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) December 9, 2022
The injured officer was transported to a hospital, where police say his condition has stabilized. He is a veteran of the FCPD motor squad with at least 16 to 17 years of experience in the department, according to Spital.
Spital said the Jeep driver remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. Police are also interviewing other witnesses to the crash to determine the circumstances that led up to it, though the FCPD seems to preliminarily believe that the driver wasn’t intentionally cutting off its officers.
Police haven’t determined yet whether the driver is a GMU student or why they were traveling in the area.
“Before we can make any determination on fault at this point, we do have to make sure that everybody is interviewed and we come up with a larger picture of exactly what took place,” Spital said.
Spital said he’s “not aware” of the Braddock/Roanoke River intersection being considered dangerous. Virginia data shows one other crash there this year in January and multiple crashes with injuries in previous years, but no fatalities have been reported since the interactive data report began in 2010.
A motorcyclist has died after crashing on Braddock Road near the Fairfax area almost a month ago, the Fairfax County Police Department announced yesterday (Wednesday).
Sterling resident Brian Perry was riding a 2007 Kawasaki motorcycle, traveling east on Braddock on June 29. Around 6:17 p.m., he reached a section of road near the Fairfax County Parkway intersection that transitioned from pavement to milled asphalt, lost control of the bike and crashed, police say.
“Perry was taken to a hospital and on July 12 succumbed to his injuries,” the FCPD said. He was 63 years old.
The crash remains under investigation by the department’s Crash Reconstruction Unit detectives, but speed and alcohol are not believed to have been factors in the crash.
Perry is the seventh non-pedestrian to die from a vehicle crash in Fairfax County this year, according to the FCPD. The county had recorded five such fatalities by this point in 2021.
This year’s sixth non-pedestrian fatality was also a motorcyclist. The crash occurred on July 3 when Nema Mirsaeedi, 31, of Springfield was thrown from his bike upon colliding with a car on Burke Center Parkway.
On May 22, a motorcyclist was hospitalized by a crash with a vehicle at the intersection of Braddock Road and Second Road in the Fairfax area.
The FCPD says anyone with information about the June 29 crash can contact the Crash Reconstruction Unit at 703-280-0543. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) and online.
“Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars,” the FCPD said. “Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.”
Fairfax County drivers are no strangers to potholes during the winter, but residents felt conditions were becoming especially egregious along a stretch of Braddock Road in Lincolnia, including near Parklawn Elementary School.
After airing their concerns on Nextdoor, they turned to the Virginia Department of Transportation. Residents noticed this week that at least one large pothole was filled in.
“There was a large major pothole (the Grand Canyon) for weeks, which I noticed just today was filled,” resident Steph Bates told FFXnow on Tuesday (March 8). “I drive that stretch each day, and there are many, many smaller potholes still.”
“We are aware of the issues along Braddock Road,” VDOT spokesperson Ellen Kamilakis said in an email. “Crews have been out this week patching potholes.”
VDOT encourages people to contact its Customer Service Center about road issues. Kamilakis said pothole repair work there is continuing.
VDOT maintains roads throughout most of the Commonwealth, including interstates and primary routes. Other roads are maintained by cities, towns and some counties.
Adopted by the General Assembly in 1932, the Byrd Road Act permitted counties to pass responsibility to Virginia’s Highway Commission, later renamed the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Four counties chose to retain their authority, but only Arlington and Henrico counties have maintained that decision.
Resident Carolyn Spencer, who submitted a maintenance ticket, thinks VDOT is responsive, especially with quick fixes and Americans with Disabilities Act issues.
“I’m a big believer in telling people when I notice something wrong,” Spencer told FFXnow. “If nobody reports problems, they will never get fixed.”
But for more in-depth policy and planning issues, such as concerns about traffic back-ups, inquiries can involve contractors and end up unanswered, she wrote.
It wasn’t immediately clear when and whether VDOT plans to repave the portion of Braddock Road under scrutiny.
“That stretch seems worse than other places I drive,” Bates wrote, adding that problems are “on both sides of the yellow line, with very narrow ability to dodge.”