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Southbound I-495 approaching the exit to Gallows Road (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 11:55 a.m.) Virginia State Police are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash that occurred on I-495 South in the Annandale area last Friday (Sept. 23), the agency announced today (Thursday).

According to police, 25-year-old Carlos Javier Velez Mantalvo from Orlando, Florida, was riding a 2006 Honda CBR600 motorcycle, going south on I-495 early that morning.

Near the Gallows Road exit, which leads to the Inova Fairfax Hospital campus, Velez Montalvo “rapidly” reduced his speed, “lost control and laid the motorcycle down in the roadway,” state police said.

“The operator then slid across the pavement away from the motorcycle,” VSP said in a news release.

Police responded to the crash at 2:02 a.m. Velez Montalvo was transported to the nearby hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries.

Police say he was wearing a helmet when the motorcycle crashed.

Photo via Google Maps

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The U.S. District Court in Alexandria (via Google Maps)

A 22-year-old man from Alexandria will serve over two years in prison for a fatal, single-car crash on the George Washington Memorial Parkway that involved speeding, alcohol and drug use, the Department of Justice announced last week.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, Samuel Meyer was driving south on the GW Parkway on May 31, 2020 when he lost control of his Toyota Tacoma truck around 5:45 p.m. near Mount Vernon Circle.

“As the road curves, Meyer lost control of his truck, left the roadway, and crashed into the woods next to the travel lanes,” prosecutors said. “The truck crashed with such force that the skin of the passenger side of the vehicle was peeled off entirely, and the front passenger door of the vehicle was embedded into a tree a short distance from where the truck came to a stop.”

A front-seat passenger identified as 19-year-old Michael Cunningham later died at a hospital from “blunt trauma injuries to his head, neck, trunk, and extremities.” Meyer and a passenger in the vehicle’s back seat were also treated for minor injuries.

An electronic data recorder in the vehicle indicated Meyer was driving over 85 mph in a 35-mph zone when he crashed. Alcohol and other drugs were also found in his system, according to the news release:

About three and a half hours after the crash, blood samples were taken from Meyer. An analysis showed that Meyer’s blood alcohol content was .09 g/100 mL, still above the legal limit hours after the crash. Also present in Meyer’s blood were benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of cocaine; THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana; and cocaethylene, which is formed by the liver when cocaine and alcohol coexist in the blood.

Prosecutors say an investigation determined that Meyer made no attempt to brake and instead had his foot on the accelerator in the five seconds prior to impact, despite suggestions to slow down from the truck’s passengers.

Meyer pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced by a federal judge on Friday (Sept. 16) to 30 months in prison, according to court records.

Photo via Google Maps

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Fatal crash on I-495 (photo courtesy Virginia State Police)

The Virginia State Police (VSP) has released more details about a single-vehicle crash on Sunday morning that left one driver dead.

VSP said they responded to the crash on the Beltway near the exit to the Georgetown Pike around 6 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11.

“A tractor-trailer traveling north on Interstate 495 ran off the road, struck the guardrail and then a pole near Exit 44/Georgetown Pike,” VSP said in a release.

VSP said the driver of the tractor-trailer was Damaree Sanders, 33, from Raeford, North Carolina. VSP said Sanders died at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.

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Two cars crashed on Wilson Blvd in Seven Corners, killing a pedestrian in the adjacent parking lot (via Google Maps)

One of the two drivers involved in the Seven Corners crash that killed Maryland father Albert Sweat will face criminal charges, the Fairfax County Police Department announced yesterday (Wednesday).

Yansi Martinez Gonzalez, a 26-year-old resident of Falls Church, was charged on Tuesday (Aug. 30) with reckless driving and driving without a license for her alleged role in the fatal Aug. 18 crash, where two cars collided and one hit Sweat as he was walking in a parking lot in the 6200 block of Arlington Blvd.

According to police, Martinez Gonzalez was driving north in a 2012 Honda Civic on Wilson Blvd when she attempted an “improper” lane change from the left lane, running into the side of a Volkswagen Jetta that was headed in the same direction.

“The collision forced the Volkswagen off the roadway into the adjacent parking lot, striking Mr. Sweat as he was walking,” the FCPD said. “The Volkswagen continued over a median and struck a parked 2010 GMC Yukon before coming to rest in a mulch bed.”

Martinez Gonzalez has been released on a summons ahead of a scheduled court appearance.

A construction foreman, Sweat left behind a wife and eight children. Talking to FFXnow last week, his eldest sister, Jean, and niece, Tierra, described him as a kind, loving person and a music enthusiast.

Tierra Sweat also called for safety improvements around the Wilson and Arlington Blvd intersection where the crash occurred.

Photo via Google Maps

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Westbound Dulles Toll Road approaching the Fairfax County Parkway exit (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 12:05 p.m.) A Reston man was killed in a crash on the Dulles Toll Road Wednesday night (Aug. 24), the second reported pedestrian fatality on the highway in as many months.

Chris Baidoe, 26, was hit by a vehicle around 8 p.m. in the toll road’s westbound lanes near the exit to Fairfax County Parkway in Reston, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said in a statement.

Baidoe was transported to a hospital, where he died. MWAA said he had “no fixed address,” but a family member confirmed to FFXnow that he lived in Reston.

The authority said the crash involved a non-commercial vehicle, but it couldn’t yet confirm the make or model.

“No other people were injured,” MWAA said. “The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene, and no charges have been filed at this point in the investigation.”

The crash was first reported by The Washington Post.

MWAA Police are investigating the incident, which occurred just a mile away from a July 5 crash on the westbound Dulles Toll Road near the Reston Parkway interchange.

In that case, no identity was initially given for the pedestrian, who was struck around 9:20 p.m. and died in a hospital that night.

When FFXnow followed up on July 29, MWAA identified the victim as 29-year-old Delante Ross, who they said had no fixed address. A spokesperson confirmed that the driver had not been charged but said no other information could be released at that point, including what kind of vehicle was involved.

A different member of MWAA’s media relations team told FFXnow yesterday that they were “checking for updates on the July 5 Toll Road incident investigation,” but no new information was available as of publication time.

Photo via Google Maps

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Fairfax County police car lights flashing (file photo)

(Updated at 10:10 a.m.) A pedestrian has died after a crash in Seven Corners that reportedly involved two different vehicles, the Fairfax County Police Department says.

Police received a call for service to the 6200 block of Arlington Blvd at 8:38 a.m., according to FCPD spokesperson Sgt. Tara Gerhard. The person was transported to a hospital, where they died. Both drivers remained on the scene, according to police.

Gerhard confirmed that the crash hasn’t required any road closures. The Virginia Department of Transportation’s live traffic site doesn’t show any significant congestion, though a Route 50 camera at the nearby Patrick Henry Drive intersection appears to be down.

However, the FCPD advises community members to avoid the area.

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Henderson Road at Devereux Station Lane (via Google Maps)

A man from Lorton was killed in a motorcycle crash in Fairfax Station on Saturday evening (August 13).

Abdul Lee, 43, was headed east on Henderson Road when his motorcycle crossed a double yellow center line near Devereux Station Lane and collided head on with a 2010 Grand Cherokee, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

The driver of the Grand Cherokee was not injured and remained on the scene. 

Preliminarily, detectives do not believe that alcohol was a factor in the crash. An investigation is underway to determine if speed was a factor. 

This is the 10th non-pedestrian fatality in the county so far this year, according to police, surpassing the six such fatalities reported by this point in 2021. Including Lee, at least four motorcyclists have died in crashes so far in 2022.

Here’s more from FCPD on how to provide information about the crash, which happened at around 5:50 p.m.: 

Anyone with information about this crash is asked to contact our Crash Reconstruction Unit at 703-280-0543. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), and by web – Click HERE.  Download the ‘P3 Tips’ App and follow the steps to “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

People walk by Caffi Field, a football field in Vienna (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Driver in Fatal Franconia Crash Charged With Manslaughter — Sara Flores, 20, of Lorton was charged with involuntary vehicular manslaughter yesterday morning (Thursday) for a May 12 crash in Franconia where she allegedly drove into a telephone pole, killing a passenger. Police had already obtained a warrant charging Flores with driving under the influence. [FCPD]

Developer Pleads Guilty in Teen’s Death — “The owner of a Virginia construction company that specializes in luxury homes pleaded guilty Wednesday to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a 16-year-old boy who was killed while working for his company in 2019. Thomas Digges, of Digges Development Corporation, operated the Fairfax County job site where a trench gave way and buried Spencer Lunde, of McLean, on July 23, 2019.” [NBC4]

Two Displaced by Fair Oaks Townhouse Fire — A fire at a three-story townhouse in the 12000 block of Dorforth Drive on Wednesday (Aug. 10) was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says. The fire displaced two residents and resulted in approximately $175,000 in damages. [FCFRD]

One Rescued From Annandale House Fire — “8/11/22 at 1:08 a.m., in 3800 block of Gallows Road. One occupant trapped on 2nd floor was rescued by #FCFRD crews via ladder. Fire contained to basement. No injuries. NO smoke alarms found in home! Cause: improperly discarded smoking material. Damages $16K.” [FCFRD/Twitter]

County Names New Planning and Development Director — Fairfax County has appointed Tracy Strunk as director of its Department of Planning and Development, where she succeeds Barbara Byron, who retired earlier this year. Strunk’s career for the county goes back to 1998 and includes work as a planner and a member of the team that helped develop the Tysons Comprehensive Plan. [Fairfax County Government]

Fairfax County Public Schools Creates Program to Help Hire Teachers — “[Catherine] Coulter is entering her first year teaching in Virginia’s largest school system as a teaching resident, a newly-created position aimed at placing qualified teachers in classrooms while they take the final steps toward receiving a specific certification.” [WTOP]

Expansions and Renovations in Progress at FCPS — “Most students and teachers have taken the summer off, but Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has been busy with its usual tall order of school renovations and additions. Improvements now are in progress at these schools in the Sun Gazette’s readership area” [Sun Gazette]

Falls Church Development Nears Movie Theater Lease — “Developers of the new Founder’s Row mixed use development…announced through a new filing with the City that it is ‘in the final stages of securing a lease with Paragon Theaters,’ noting that ‘Paragon will operate a seven-screen movie theater, including an IMAX-similar screen with a total capacity of approximately 600 seats.'” [Falls Church News-Press]

Fairfax Shopping Center Gets New Mural — “If you’ve been by the Giant at Scout on the Circle recently you might have noticed some color appearing on the walls! The Abstract Expressionist painting on the corner of the building is by Steven Johnson. Johnson is a Indiana biased artist, who recently made his art available in the public domain.” [City of Fairfax/Facebook]

It’s Friday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 81 and low of 68. Sunrise at 6:21 am and sunset at 8:09 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Fairfax County police car with lights flashing (file photo)

The driver of a car involved in a single-vehicle crash on Sunday (Aug. 7) has been arrested and charged, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

Michael Escalante-Torre, 33, turned himself in to the Town of Herndon Police Station on Monday night (Aug. 8) after police attempted to find the driver of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze that crashed into a tree on Dranesville Road just north of Powells Tavern Place. 

The passenger — Alexis Andy Quispe Arontinco, 27, of Herndon — was killed in the crash. 

According to police, Escalante-Torre was driving the car when it struck a tree near the intersection of Powells Tavern Place. Preliminarily, people believe speed was a factor in the crash and they continue to investigate if alcohol was also a factor.

Police first failed to locate the driver after he ran from the scene before police arrived. A K9 unit and helicopter-assisted search proved unsuccessful.

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Morning Notes

Sun shines through tree leaves in Vienna (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Man Dies After Fairfax City Crash — “A 32-year-old Maryland man died from injuries he received when the motorcycle he was riding Monday afternoon collided with an SUV on Chain Bridge Road in Fairfax City, according to a police release.” [Patch]

Suspect in Fatal Springfield Stabbing Extradited — “This evening, Jose Heber Hernandez Mejia was extradited back to Fairfax County from South Carolina. He’s charged with 2nd degree murder for the July 17 domestic-related stabbing in the 5200 block of Rolling Rd. Hernandez Mejia was held on no bond.” [FCPD/Twitter]

Arrests Made in Child Solicitation Sting — “Six men ranging in ages from 26 to 43 were arrested by Fairfax County Police as part of an online sting to identify and apprehend predators seeking to exploit children using the internet, according to a police brief.” [Patch]

Food Stolen From Mount Vernon Daycare — “Officers were called to the KinderCare at 4287 Buckman Road early Monday morning for a burglary that occurred over the weekend. When officers learned thousands of dollars worth of food was stolen from the center, they quickly jumped into action to ensure the kids wouldn’t go hungry by purchasing breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks.” [FCPD/Facebook]

Virginia Sees Bump in Pro-Choice License Plates — “Pro-life and pro-choice license plates aren’t new to Virginia: The commonwealth has issued ‘Choose Life’ plates since 2009 and ‘Trust Women. Respect Choice.’ since 2010…Since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, though, more people are buying pro-choice plates.” [Washingtonian]

Fire Department Enlists Starbucks for Backpack Drive — “#FCFRD is partnering with select local @Starbucks stores to collect backpacks for underprivileged children. Backpacks will be given to local schools in #FairfaxCounty for distribution. Backpacks will be collected until August 12. Please donate a new backpack today!” [FCFRD/Twitter]

Metro Seeks to Add More Trains — Metro is seeking permission to operate more of the 7000-series trains that were sidelined late last year after a derailment in Arlington, according to the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission. The transit agency is currently permitted to run 64 cars, or eight trains, per day, as long as their wheels are inspected daily. [The Washington Post]

State Legislators Consider Changes to Recall Process — “Activists in Virginia are increasingly turning to the state’s court-driven recall process to try to take out their frustrations on local officials they feel have done something wrong…The fact that the recalls almost never work doesn’t seem to be stopping the trend, but it’s causing some lawmakers to rethink a system that empowers judges, not voters, to decide when politicians deserve to be kicked out of office early.” [Virginia Mercury/Inside NoVA]

“American Idol” Winner to Take Wolf Trap Stage — “Her victory on Season 3 of ‘American Idol’ made her a household name. Now, Fantasia Barrino is bringing her signature sound to Wolf Trap in Virginia on Aug. 19.” [WTOP]

It’s Wednesday — Rain starting in the afternoon. High of 88 and low of 77. Sunrise at 6:19 am and sunset at 8:11 pm. [Weather.gov]

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