Greater Greater Washington

I was in a hit-and-run by a distracted driver

My normal commute between work near Union Station and home in Dupont Circle is 35 minutes, doorknob to doorknob. Tuesday night, that commute came to a grinding halt just 2 blocks from my office.


2nd & F NE. Photo by reallyboring on Flickr.

As I crossed the street at 2nd and F Streets NE, an SUV pulled up to the 4-way stop. The SUV stopped at the stop sign, and I began to cross the street in the crosswalk. As I was just in front of the SUV, the driver, who'd looked down to his phone while stopped (it looked like he was texting), pulled forward full speed into a left turn, hitting me.

In the split second I had as the vehicle began to move before it hit me, I screamed and tried to jump back, but I was directly in front of the SUV, and it hit me squarely in the right leg, rolling over my right foot.

As I screamed, the driver finally looked up, saw me, and yelled "sorry!" out of his open window before continuing on his way. I was stunned.

It had all taken less than 15 seconds.

Waiting for the police

Once I got safely onto the sidewalk, I stopped, and the security guard at the nearby SEC parking garage stopped to ask me if I was okay and comment on the craziness of what had just happened. While I was in one piece, I was pretty banged up and definitely very shaken, and reached into my pocket for my cell phone to call 911.

It felt odd to me to call 911 when nothing was on fire and nobody was bleeding or in imminent danger, but as the security guard pointed out, I'd just been involved in a hit-and-run traffic collision.

Nonetheless, I gave the 911 operator my first name (they did not ask for my last name) and location, explained what happened, declined an ambulance, and was told that the next available unit would be on their way to me shortly. I hung up as a good samaritan came up to ask me if I was okay, and another security guard ushered me into the Securities and Exchange Commission building lobby to wait.


Collision diagram by the author.

Once I was settled inside on a bench, I called my significant other, Kian, to let him know that I'd be late getting home, and he insisted on coming from Dupont to meet me and help me get home once I was done with the police.

Once I hung up with Kian, building security suggested I call 911 againthey were very concerned no officer had responded yet. Kian arrived (via Metro) 25 minutes after I called him, but still no MPD officer had arrived.

The security guards in the building took down my information to let their supervisor know what was going on, and told me that there was a security camera on the corner of the building that might have had an angle to catch the whole thing on tape. They'd be happy to work with MPD to provide the tape.

10 minutes or so after Kian arrived (thanks to Twitter and call logs on our cell phones, I have the timing recorded), we called 911 for a third time. It had been an hour since my first call. They seemed to have no record of our earlier calls, but assured us that this was a priority and that a unit would arrive soon.

80 minutes after the collision, Capitol Police arrived on the scene. The responding officer explained that they'd heard it come in over the radio, and decided to respond. The Capitol Police officer took my full report, spoke to the security guard who'd been an eyewitness, and explained to me that Capitol Police would now have officers canvassing the area on the lookout for the vehicle, but since it had been over an hour, that it probably wasn't in the area any longer.

20 minutes after Capitol Police arrived, and as they're nearly finished writing the report, an MPD unit arrived, explaining that they'd been dispatched from the other side of the city, because of something going on downtown occupying all of the units in the area. The officer asked me to explain what had happened yet again, even though they ended up letting Capitol Police file the report.

Bad intersection?

About 30 minutes after the accident, waiting for MPD, I logged into Twitter on my phone. Many, many people on Twitter expressed their sympathy and kind thoughts (thank you!). As the discussion progressed, several people expressed frustration with that very intersection:

I've definitely noticed on my daily commute lots of drivers blowing through the intersection with a rolling stop, or occasionally no stop at all.

A serious reminder

I'm sore and bruised from the collision, but otherwise I am okay. I'm incredibly grateful for that, and for all of the kind people around me who helped me after the accident, like the good Samaritan and the building security at the SEC.

But as a smart growth and complete streets advocate by day, this experience was a serious reminder that our work for more walkable, bikeable, livable streets for everyone in our communities is far from complete. Even in a place like DC that does so many things right when it comes to transportation and planning, there's more work to do, even at the most basic level.

It's easy to get wound up in rhetoric about "us vs. them", the "war on cars", and so many other issues that we write and read about every day here. We've all been guilty of this from time to time. But when we step back, can't we all agree that cars, bicycles, and most especially, pedestrians, should all have a safe place on our streets? Washington is a great place to live, but we still have a long way to go to make it greater.

Let's do it for the kids in the daycare down the street from this intersection. For our elderly neighbors who can't get around as well anymore. For our children biking to school. From driver to cyclist to pedestrian, everyone benefits from a street that's safe and welcoming for all users.

Aimee Custis is the Communications Manager at the Coalition for Smarter Growth. A policy wonk by training and a transit advocate by profession, she moved to DC in 2008 to learn everything she could about walkable communities and public policy. Also a photographer, she photoblogs at aimeecustis.com

Comments

Add a comment »

For good measure, this is also an illegal turn at this time of day, per the clearly posted signage: http://goo.gl/maps/sI0HA

by 20002ist on Mar 29, 2013 10:47 am • linkreport

Oh I know that intersection from my bike commute home from before they put in the cycle track on 1st. Multiple times I got into arguments with cars there, because they would actually make a right at that intersection from where the car was that hit Aimee. Did I mention that that side of the street is a 1 way street? These cars just didn't want to drive around the block to get into the SEC garage so they would make a right going to the wrong way!

by Joseph on Mar 29, 2013 10:53 am • linkreport

Glad you are okay. Not sure how CSG would function if you weren't around.

Not to alibi the police, but I rode my bike to the Caps game that evening, and there was a police presence at most of the downtown street-corners that evening. I even had a nice moment when a cop let my through an intersection on my bike while holding up the remaining cars.

But these are not unusual events for our City and MPD needs to figure out a way to do its job even when something big is happening elsewhere. I hope this issue gets raised in the Council oversight hearings for MPD.

by fongfong on Mar 29, 2013 10:55 am • linkreport

Just another example how there are no bigger, more selfish assholes than automobile driver in metro Washington. No concern for anyone than themselves.

by 20011 on Mar 29, 2013 10:57 am • linkreport

I bike 2nd Street NE every day. If the MPD ever set up a sting on texting drivers in that area, they'd make a fortune in fines, and probably save a life or two in the long run.

It's not only the texting Hill douchebags, though. I think the school drop-offs are the most aggressive on that street. And the Kaiser Permanente drop off/pick ups are the most unpredictable.

by Greenbelt on Mar 29, 2013 10:57 am • linkreport

Sorry to hear your story. Used to live around there and agree it's a rough intersection. Would love to hear follow up when (hopefully) they get the guy.

FWIW, there was something going on downtown. Saw quite a few police and sirens around Pennsylvania and 13th at about 17:45, which I think fits your timeline.

by John on Mar 29, 2013 10:57 am • linkreport

Aimee-

Very sorry to hear about your experience and glad you're recovering.

Two notes:
1)I was involved in a similar crash on my bike in Arlington last year. Though I was only a quarter mile from Arlington Police HQ, it took them about half an hour to respond. DC's response time on a hit and run is dreadful. Of course, if they can't respond to a cop involved in a hit-and-run with injuries and have to leave that to PG county, what can citizens expect?

2)I was nearly decked yesterday by someone texting/on their smartphone coming out of a parking garage in Clarendon. After she slammed on the brakes, I made eye contact and said "Come on, you gotta get off your phone while you're pulling out of a garage across a busy sidewalk." Education starts with pedestrians and cyclists. Hopefully this person thinks twice before checking her phone next time.

by James on Mar 29, 2013 10:59 am • linkreport

Nice diagram! I'm glad you're okay. That certainly must have hurt.

by dan reed! on Mar 29, 2013 11:09 am • linkreport

For good measure, this is also an illegal turn at this time of day, per the clearly posted signage: http://goo.gl/maps/sI0HA

Well, the sign has an exception for "local traffic", whatever that means.

by iaom on Mar 29, 2013 11:09 am • linkreport

Using a smartphone while driving, taking an illegal turn, hitting a pedestrian, not stopping after hitting the pedestrian. It's terrifying that someone like that is driving on our roads. He broke 4 laws in 15 seconds. I wonder how many more he broke on his way home. I'm really sorry that this happened to you and I really do hope they catch this guy because he's a menace to our roads.

by dc denizen on Mar 29, 2013 11:10 am • linkreport

"After she slammed on the brakes, I made eye contact and said "Come on, you gotta get off your phone while you're pulling out of a garage across a busy sidewalk." Education starts with pedestrians and cyclists. Hopefully this person thinks twice before checking her phone next time."

You're much nicer than I am.

by 20011 on Mar 29, 2013 11:17 am • linkreport

Please keep us posted on what happens. Unfortunately, I fear that will be "not much".

by Vinh An Nguyen on Mar 29, 2013 11:17 am • linkreport

Oh man, what an awful thing to happen:( I get so upset when I see drivers on their cell phones or otherwise totally oblivious to pedestrians. I think it comes down to complete arrogance -- just the fact that he said "sorry" and drove away after running over your foot makes me rage. I make it a point to be a very active pedestrian, when I see other people waiting at a cross walk for a car that is still far enough way (at an unsignalized intersection) I make it a point to walk into the crosswalk. We need to crush this idea that it's the peds job to wait for any and all vehicular traffic before daring to cross. Obviously I wouldnt advocate running in front of cars or anything, but its important to set a strong pedestrian first precedent.

by Alan B. on Mar 29, 2013 11:21 am • linkreport

Saw on Twitter when that happened, appalled by MPD's response, and I hope they're able to identify and prosecute the driver of the vehicle (sounds like they've got the license plate, and you could do an identification). Glad you weren't seriously injured.

by Malnurtured Snay on Mar 29, 2013 11:23 am • linkreport

What's remarkable about this story is the driver's seeming total disconnect from the fact that he had just been involved in an "accident." Replace Aimee with a Corolla, and the driver probably pulls over and exchanges insurance information, right? Fascinating and terrifying.

by worthing on Mar 29, 2013 11:25 am • linkreport

Absolutely no regard for the safety of others. Glad you're ok.

This just confirms what I've seen this week w/its countless examples of people not realizing that roads are made for SHARING not owning. Ridamndiculous!

by HogWash on Mar 29, 2013 11:29 am • linkreport

Wow, sorry to hear that. I hope they catch the guy. It's as if DC no longer has a law banning cell talking/texting while driving. It's endemic and I see it all over the city. Another intersection to watch out for is traffic turning left from Penn NW to northbound 7th NW. Cars/buses/cabs consistently run that light, even though it's a heavy pedestrian intersection. I've seen one cyclist hit and many near misses. It would really benefit from a red light camera.

by Billy Mack on Mar 29, 2013 11:30 am • linkreport

@Worthing

exactly! crazy.

by Nick on Mar 29, 2013 11:33 am • linkreport

Horrible! I hope they catch this guy, though with MPD's extremely lazy response, I somehow doubt that will happen.

I almost had such an experience with an ambulance, of all things. It was coming the wrong way on 6th against the light with emergency lights but no siren. I was about to run across the street (I had 3 seconds left to cross with the green light) and checked left, then had to jump back to keep getting hit. My view of the lane was blocked by a delivery truck, but since traffic isn't supposed to be coming that way anyway I did NOT expect a 35-mile-per-hour vehicle to be there.

by David Edmondson on Mar 29, 2013 11:37 am • linkreport

Another thing to keep in mind (although it's difficult in quick situations) is to look at the plate. It takes some discipline but you can teach yourself to quick-read plates. In cases like this it's better to have state, partial or full read of the plate, make, model of car than it is to have a description of the guy or something similar. If you can trace the car, you'll catch the guy.

Of course, that also depends on MPD. Once my children and I almost got hit by a car that went into the wrong lane to go around a car that had stopped at the stop sign, and blew through the stop sign. But as we got out of the way and he blew past us I caught the state and plate. I gave it to MPD later. Of course, they told me there is nothing they can do because they didn't witness it. I was pretty pissed. I told them that if this driver is willing to go into the wrong lane, blow past a stop sign, and almost kill a family, imagine what else he's willing to do? I asked them to at least run the plate, I'm pretty sure there's a litany of traffic violations in the guy's past. They said Thanks and that was that :(

by dc denizen on Mar 29, 2013 11:43 am • linkreport

Another thing to keep in mind (although it's difficult in quick situations) is to look at the plate. It takes some discipline but you can teach yourself to quick-read plates. In cases like this it's better to have state, partial or full read of the plate, make, model of car than it is to have a description of the guy or something similar. If you can trace the car, you'll catch the guy.

I actually did get the plate! So there's that. The fact that it was an easy-to-remember vanity plate definitely helped.

by Aimee Custis on Mar 29, 2013 11:48 am • linkreport

Good for you Aimee!
Haha...his vanity plate does him in. There's a morality tale in there somewhere :)

by dc denizen on Mar 29, 2013 11:51 am • linkreport

A few years ago, one night I was crossing M-street in Georgetown (what was I doing there?). I was crossing from the South side of the street to the North side at Potomac St. (the prominent crosswalk in front of Dean and Deluca). I catch a very large white SUV flying westward on M towards the intersection, suddenly he brakes and pulls a U-turn in the intersection and j-u-s-t about runs me over near the end of his arc. How close? In a flash of shock and anger I just lifted my fist and pounded on his passenger side window as he goes by (let's put it this way, the window came to ME, not the other way around).

What does he do? Stops his car in middle of the street, gets out, puffs his chest and starts threatening me, telling me to come over there, then he says he's going to call the police. I don't remember if it was Virginia or Maryland plates, but they weren't DC, I know that. I walked away, but I wish to this day I had insisted he call the police.

Let's see, excessive speed, illegal U-turn, failure to yield to pedestrian in sidewalk, threatening a physical altercation, yeah, right. Those menacing DC pedestrians...

by Boris on Mar 29, 2013 11:58 am • linkreport

Adding to the tales of MPD woe:

Almost 6 years ago, now, I was driving to work along about the same stretch of North Capitol as you describe. I'd come through the Third Street Tunnel, and had just made the left turn off of Mass. Ave. onto North Capitol. I turned into the inside lane and immediately popped on my turn signal to indicate a lane change. I did everything correctly - turn on the signal, scan the road ahead, and then check over my shoulder.

While I was shoulder-checking a car emerged from G Pl., crossed the opposite lanes of traffic, and pulled right into my left front fender. The driver was from out of town and had gotten lost, and wasn't paying attention. Completely her fault, not mine at all. I know, because the whole thing was witnessed by a uniformed GAO police officer sitting in front of the GAO in his car. He pulled around to help. Here's the kicker, though - when I told him I needed to call MPD, he shook his head and told me that due to the lack-of-severity of the case they wouldn't even send someone out. Fortunately (as I'm a Virginia driver and need a police report for insurance) he served as my police witness.

So no, it doesn't surprise me in the least that it took MPD so long to come out. What DOES surprise me, frankly, is that they sent anybody out at all.

by Ser Amantio di Nicolao on Mar 29, 2013 12:13 pm • linkreport

Just so you guys know, the District lowered the fines for failing to yield to pedestrians from $250 to $75. These a******s now have no financial incentive to follow the law and look out for pedestrians. Barry, Cheh and Wells introduced the bill. Now I know who won't be getting my vote for mayor and it's that a****** from Ward 6.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/2/gray-lowers-dc-speed-camera-fines/?page=all

by 20011 on Mar 29, 2013 12:18 pm • linkreport

in addition to the daycare down the street, there are 2 schools on this immediate block north on F (SWS and CH Montessori). The traffic pattern is lousy. It's a 4 way stop that's perpetually backed up in 3 direction at peak times and has heavy foot and bike traffic.

I would hope the fact that you were actually struck and the incident was witnessed would have more weight with the police than just reporting a traffic violation, but given the tepid response I'd have my doubts. Glad you're ok

by anon_1 on Mar 29, 2013 12:22 pm • linkreport

I actually did get the plate! So there's that. The fact that it was an easy-to-remember vanity plate definitely helped.

Hopefully, MPD will do something with that information but unfortunately, my hopes are not high. There was the cyclist who was hit-and-run on Rhode Island Ave who had video evidence of the whole thing and MPD still didn't do anything about it. The driver eventually turned himself in a year later, though.

Did anything ever happen with getting the Assault of Bicyclists Prevention Act passed?

by Falls Church on Mar 29, 2013 12:25 pm • linkreport

"Just so you guys know, the District lowered the fines for failing to yield to pedestrians from $250 to $75. These assholes now have no financial incentive to follow the law and look out for pedestrians."

I'm guessing that it's because people take $250 fines to court and generally don't fight $75 fines.

by Answer Guy on Mar 29, 2013 12:33 pm • linkreport

Any civil remedies possible if you have the plate? Seems like a private action is more likely to get you somewhere than police action in DC.

(Or if you have dual citizenship, then use your embassy to arm twist the cops - that seems to be the only other way to get MPD to do anything, as my friend learnt the hard way during gang initiation season a few years ago.)

by varun on Mar 29, 2013 12:35 pm • linkreport

There was the cyclist who was hit-and-run on Rhode Island Ave who had video evidence of the whole thing and MPD still didn't do anything about it. The driver eventually turned himself in a year later, though.

At first the D.A. didn't want to touch the case. WABA was instrumental in keeping the pressure on and they are finally prosecuting. The trial was supposed to begin at the beginning of March, but was delayed. The trial is now scheduled for April 2nd, next Tuesday. If anyone is interested, we've organized a group ride. We'll meet at 8 am on April 2nd at Eastern and RI Ave. and head towards DC Superior court starting around 8:15. Link to the ride here: https://www.facebook.com/events/267037383421842/308850132573900/?notif_t=plan_mall_activity though I don't think that contains a map.

by thump on Mar 29, 2013 1:19 pm • linkreport

@varun-I continue to think that we need a program like Road Safe in London, where vulnerable road users are able to report inconsiderate, hostile or dangerous driving. I think especially cyclists and motorcyclists should start using more cameras to record their rides and report bad drivers. Perhaps there can be dedicated officers to review on street cameras when an incident is reported? That visual evidence makes all the difference in these situations. I certainly hope the SEC camera is useful for Aimee!

by thump on Mar 29, 2013 1:23 pm • linkreport

Any more details on the driver? What kind of person could such a jerk?

by Chris S. on Mar 29, 2013 1:28 pm • linkreport

I was one of the people who tweeted Aimee about that intersection. I bike down 2nd St every day.

I don't know what it is, but everybody always seems to be incredibly confused about who has the right of way at the 4-way stop (rather than waiting their turn and yielding to pedestrians like they do everywhere else).

Worse still, I *constantly* see people making illegal U-turns in the intersection. A few weeks ago, a guy came within about 6 inches of hitting me while he was doing this (in a rainstorm, no less). I confronted him, he told me to "Fuck off," and sped away (and this was a guy wearing a nice suit).

I think that a big part of the problem comes from the fact that the "stub" of F Street between the DOJ and SEC is needlessly wide.

Meanwhile, the 2nd & K intersection is notoriously bad for poor visibility, and being way too narrow for bikes to ride alongside cars. (The same could also be said for the portion of the road adjacent to the SEC -- there's no shoulder at all). The bulb-outs actually seem to make things worse here. I got hit by a car (who then fled) at this intersection last year.

The intersection of 2nd & D/Mass is also notorious for drivers blocking the box, and routinely failing to yield to cyclists/pedestrians when they turn. There's a USCP officer permanently stationed at this intersection, and I've never seen a single traffic citation issued despite constant illegal and dangerous behavior.

(While we're ranting about 2nd St, the temporary construction fence on the 700 block of 2nd St sticks out WAY too far into the road and does not properly accommodate pedestrians; the Kaiser Permanente dropoff situation is ridiculous (MetroAccess are the worst offenders); AOC installed a weird "fake" stop sign at 2nd & C; cycling patterns in the area would be greatly improved if C St allowed contraflow between 2nd & 4th; USCP doesn't have a clear policy for how cyclists are supposed to cross the security barriers here)

by andrew on Mar 29, 2013 1:31 pm • linkreport

Any more details on the driver? What kind of person could such a jerk?

I did get a good look enough look at him for a fairly detailed description, and his vanity plate shed some light, but I don't really want to share the plate publicly. I will say he was early-to-mid 30s white, well-dressed in an expensive white collared shirt. Putting the pieces together, I'd hazard a guess that he was probably commuting home from his office job in the District.

by Aimee Custis on Mar 29, 2013 1:33 pm • linkreport

I see, the wealthy and entitled type then. Hope MPD tracks him down.

by Chris S. on Mar 29, 2013 1:47 pm • linkreport

@andrew

I bike down 2nd between E and K pretty often. Going north at I St., I will often cross over and bike down the stub of the MBT on the west side of the street just until the intersection, where I turn left onto K. If there aren't many cars around I just take the whole lane and go with traffic, but I never try to squeeze between cars and the curb there. Since the "sidewalk" is the MBT, it's a place where I make a rare exception and bike not in the street, although I do slow down and take care if there are pedestrians. So far so good, haven't ever had any real issues with cars.

by CapHill on Mar 29, 2013 1:53 pm • linkreport

I also walk or bike down E and F to 2nd street to get the MBT daily for work or to get to Union Station metro with my kids. A month ago, my daughter and I were in the middle of the crosswalk when a car driver did exactly the same thing as the driver who hit Aimee: barely pause, looking at phone, speed up to get through stop sign. He narrowly missed us, literally coming within inches. I could feel the driver's side window rush past my nose! I immediately started screaming "we're in the crosswalk, this is a crosswalk!" and as he sped away, he rolled down his window holding his middle finger up and holding it out of the window. Similar incidents have happened to me at both the E and F street intersections. I am so appalled at the wanton disregard for the safety of fellow human beings by car drivers, that it makes me very worried about my three kids who all walk or bike to school by themselves daily.

I would like to know why MPD continues to justify their lack of a dedicated traffic division (it was eliminated in the mid-90s I think for some reason) in the face of daily pedestrian and bicyclist crashes due to inattentive and illegal car drivers. Every time I can, I call in to Ask the Chief or otherwise try to publicize MPD's lack of a traffic division. I usually get a lame "but every MPD officer is a traffic officer too" excuse. But it seems that if it's no one's purview, no one really gives a damn, and only when there's an egregious traffic violation witnessed by an MPD officer or a loss of life will a ticket *maybe* get issued. It's outrageous!

by gina a on Mar 29, 2013 2:02 pm • linkreport

Aimee, how terrifying for you. I'm so glad you were not hurt AND that you had the presence of mind to look at the driver's license plate. I hope we can get those drivers off the road or at least sent to traffic school.
I'm crying out to you from, (and linking to) some dangerous intersections in Bethesda, near a wonderful elementary school, Bethesda Elementary. There have been some near tragic accidents near the school recently and all the issues people mention here come up: poor visibility of pedestrian crosswalks; drivers refusing to yield right-of-way to pedestrians, including children, including a mother pushing a baby carriage in the crosswalk, crossing with the light (the stroller was hit and dragged under the car for several yards); distracted driving but worse, aggressive driving. There are high-rises popping up all around the neighborhood, bringing more motorists and more pedestrians. We need safer crossings! Please tell us how we can help you, and we hope you can help us!
Stay safe out there.

by Wendy Leibowitz on Mar 29, 2013 2:24 pm • linkreport

I don't think we can expect MPD to enforce laws when they break them all the time. I live near the police station at M & Delaware SE. I had the walk signal to cross M at the intersection, from north to south. Nearly got hit because some dope decided the red light didn't apply to him making a right turn, all while looking down at his phone. Didn't stop, didn't give any indictation of having seen me. And then promptly pulled into the lot the police use to park their civilian cars.

My prompt complaint at the station was met with "Well, we didn't see it."

by Birdie on Mar 29, 2013 2:27 pm • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by Justin Beaver on Mar 29, 2013 2:36 pm • linkreport

I was in a very similar situation years ago in Berkeley but I was on my bike and the guy had no reason not to see me. But he didn't and he hit me. Luckily he stopped and the cops filled in the proper paperwork.

But since then, I've learned a valuable lesson both as a cyclist and a pedestrian: never assume someone sees you, even if you have the right-of-way. I always look for eye contact with drivers before I step/roll in front of them. If I don't get it, I'll knock on the hood of the car, smile and wave, just to make sure. This is especially important when cars are pulling into traffic from a side-street or a garage entry, looking to their left as you're crossing them from their right. *tap tap wave* works every time.

by recyclist on Mar 29, 2013 3:14 pm • linkreport

Sad that hit and run is so common in this area. It's beyond mer to understand how someone could hit someone with their vehicle, even a slight bump, and keep going, much less run over somebody's foot. I wouldn't do that if I hit a dog.

Sadder still, is how long it took the police to respond. It's notable that Capitol Police and not MPD finally showed up.

by ceefer66 on Mar 29, 2013 6:09 pm • linkreport

@OP: Glad to hear you're alright. Please let us all know how USCP, MPD, and USAO follow up with you, and if anything happens to the driver.

by JW on Mar 29, 2013 6:43 pm • linkreport

@thump: As much as I think it would be easier for the police to prosecute if there is video, ultimately it's all for naught if the police don't care - and they rarely do care in DC (unless there is political pressure). Hence my question about civil remedies; nothing like bankruptcy to teach one a lesson in the US.

by varun on Mar 29, 2013 9:49 pm • linkreport

Aimee: Since you have a positive identification on this person (based on the license plate), there's no excuse for the police to not bring this guy to justice. I think that, if something doesn't happen very soon, publicly shaming this person (by posting his plate information and letting folks figure out who it is through some sleuthing) would be fair.

It's not vigilantism, it's fairness.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Mar 29, 2013 10:13 pm • linkreport

Aimee. I too am sorry this happened to you, and I am glad that you are well in body and spirit. If you are able to make something good happen out of this experience, I know you will.

by JimT on Mar 29, 2013 11:14 pm • linkreport

Same problem exists at 2nd and E NE, which I cross regularly. Drivers sometimes blowing through the stop signs. Luckily, not hit yet. Sorry you were.

by Karl on Mar 30, 2013 6:07 am • linkreport

By the way, cellphone companies have records of who were using their phones, when, and where. If security video didn't get a plate, the identity could be figured out that way, but you'd have to find a police detective who gave a damn to put in the effort (which isn't much).

by Karl on Mar 30, 2013 6:09 am • linkreport

Sorry to hear that! I got hit in a crosswalk by on NH Av. I was in the crosswalk, a car stopped for me, and then this little Porsche zipped around him and lifted me up onto the hood. Luckily, I was unhurt but I was so pissed that the driver was afraid to come out of his car. He was a lawyer - of course!

by Joe Flood on Mar 30, 2013 9:24 am • linkreport

As I screamed, the driver finally looked up, saw me, and yelled "sorry!" out of his open window before continuing on his way.

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. The "Sorry, I didn't see you". Now, I have not been hit yet, but I get almost hit on a nearly basis, and after I loudly yell, the driver always does a 'sorry, no bad, right?' and moves on. No bad, for them. I nearly got hit by a ton of fast moving steel.

But worse, I am tall and riding a bright red CaBi with flashers on the front and back. WTF do I need to do to get seen? You didn't see me, because you weren't looking. And that is a major problem.

So, drivers: No, it is not no big deal. It IS a big deal when you almost hit a pedestrian or biker. You need to open your freaking eyes and look on the road, and the side-walk.

by Jasper on Mar 31, 2013 1:01 pm • linkreport

Aimee, glad to hear you are ok, and sorry about your collision.

Anyone in a similar situation should know that you should *never* decline medical attention at the time of an accident. There are any number of medical conditions that can happen, or take time to develop, or be covered up by the adrenaline in the immediate aftermath of the accident. It can also be used against you in court, if it comes to that.

by Arrgh Street on Mar 31, 2013 10:59 pm • linkreport

The nonchalance with which drivers who hit pedestrians are treated by the law/law enforcement is really disturbing. The lady who hit the mother and child in Bethesda recently was given only a misdemeanor citation, and was quoted in one article as saying that "a crossing guard or turn signal" at the intersection would have prevented her accident. Um, no, you BEING A RESPONSIBLE DRIVER would have prevented the accident. Ugh.

by Rebecca on Apr 1, 2013 10:35 am • linkreport

I think it's the DA's office that fails to prosecute these kinds of crimes, not the police. Unless the police know the DA won't prosecute, and so think it's a waste of time to investigate.

by C.C. on Apr 1, 2013 12:27 pm • linkreport

This is why I will not cross the street until I've made direct eye contact with drivers also waiting at the intersection.

by JJ on Apr 1, 2013 4:27 pm • linkreport

My friends and I got nearly hit by a cab that ran a red light and then made an illegal left turn and stopped on the other side of the road. I walked over to talk with him, and he said he had to get the unruly passengers out, sorry. Then he ran over my foot as he left. In my case, MPD took 15 minutes to respond, but then had him in custody 15 minutes after that.

by Jwetz on Apr 4, 2013 11:18 am • linkreport

Thanks for your story, glad you are on the mend! Super important topic.

by Well Stuck on Apr 7, 2013 11:39 pm • linkreport

Add a Comment

Name: (will be displayed on the comments page)

Email: (must be your real address, but will be kept private)

URL: (optional, will be displayed)

Your comment:

By submitting a comment, you agree to abide by our comment policy.
Notify me of followup comments via email. (You can also subscribe without commenting.)
Save my name and email address on this computer so I don't have to enter it next time, and so I don't have to answer the anti-spam map challenge question in the future.

or