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Fairfax cyclist and SUV driver identified

Gary Anthony Thorne, 31, of Blue Gray Circle in Manassas, was the driver of an SUV that veered across Lee Highway Friday and hit and killed bicyclist Abdelouahid Chadli, 18, of Morrison Way in Fairfax.

Fairfax police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings identified both victims Saturday and said police still do not know what caused Thorne's SUV to go out of control and onto the bike path. Thorne died after his vehicle hit a tree with such force that it took police hours to remove him from the crash scene.

Jennings said she did not know the identity of another cyclist injured slighlty in the accident or whether that person was related to Chadli.

The accident happened just after 4 p.m. at Lee Highway and Forum Drive, according to police and occurred on Bike to Work Day.
Jennings, the department's head spokeswoman, has said the driver apparently veered across six lanes of Lee Highway before jumping the Forum Drive curb.

Chadli, who went by the nickname Abdul, lived in a townhouse on a street where other Northern African immigrants live. At the boy's home, dozens of shoes were lined up neatly at the entrance as mourners, many from the family's mosque, the Islamic Center for Northern Virginia on Shirley Gate Road, visited the grieving family. In the second floor apartment, women, their heads covered in flowing robes, consoled the boy's mother, Samira. But none would comment until the boy's father returned from the burial.

"Everybody loved him. He was very funny, very popular," said the teenager's father, Mohammed Chadli, 58, who runs deliveries for UPS. Chadli said his son, the eldest of four sons, was a dedicated athlete who was always biking or working out in the gym. Abdel was a member of the Fairfax High School wrestling squad and also liked to swim. He had just received a package of high school graduation cards and was eager to mail them to family scattered around the U.S. He had been accepted at GMU and wanted to become a veterinarian, his father said.

In a similar development a few miles away in Manassas, Thorne's stepfather, Kevin Griffin, 45, a warehouse worker, said Gary A. Thorne's family was mystified about the accident. Griffin said Thorne had no known medical condition that night have caused him to black out or lose control of the Dodge Durango, which he had owned without complaint for about a year. Griffin said Thorne drove his younger sister, Crystal, to work at a Checkers about 11:30 a.m. and no one heard anything from or about him until police arrived about 10 p.m. to notify them of the accident. Although Thorne had been laid off from his job as a forklift operator at a warehouse in Chantilly in April, he had leads on a new job and was planning to celebrate his 32nd birthday at a cookout Sunday at his father's in Mt. Airy.

Thorne leaves behind a 10-year-old daughter.

--Mary Pat Flaherty and Fredrick Kunkle

By Mary Pat Flaherty  |  May 22, 2010; 1:35 PM ET
Categories:  Fairfax , Mary Pat Flaherty , Traffic Accidents , Updates , Virginia  
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Comments

Heart attack......

Posted by: WildBill1 | May 22, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Extremely sad. Just another SUV driver who thought speed limits and other traffic laws don't apply to him...and who lost control of his hog mobile.

Posted by: checkered1 | May 22, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Why is this article put in a section called "The Crime Scene"? It has not been determined that a crime was committed. That's possible, but it seems entirely possible that these tragic fatalities were caused by a mechanical failure, acute health incident or some other non-criminal cause. You have implicitly labeled the deceased driver by name as a criminal.

Posted by: dcc1968 | May 22, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

As I biker I'm pretty quick to blame reckless/distracted/homicidal drivers, but I'll reserve judgement here until I find out whether Mr. Thorne was behind the wheel of a Toyota product. Wild Bill's heart attack theory is plausible, too.

Posted by: catsrtasty | May 22, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

More SUV-related deaths. You really need lug tires and 4-wheel drive going to the mall.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | May 22, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

re: dcc1968

Wouldn't this be considered vehicular manslaughter, regardless of the cause?

Posted by: superhero29 | May 22, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

re: superhero

No.

Posted by: dcc1968 | May 22, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Blue Gray Circle is not in Manassas; it's in Prince William County. You could say Manassas area, or near Manassas, or what the merchants there do: Greater Manassas. But it's not in Manassas.

Posted by: mjlayman | May 22, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

in this difficult time i send my deepest sympathy to the Chadli family and may God give his parents so much patience to go through this calamity.Abdulwahid was my son's childhood friend

Posted by: houssein | May 22, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

To Checkereded1 and Bitter_Bill:

What the hell do SUV's have to do with this? It could just as easily been a Toyota Prius - either being recklessly driven by an idiot or someone having a heart attack.

Get Real!

Posted by: Rick11 | May 22, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

More SUV-related deaths. You really need lug tires and 4-wheel drive going to the mall.

This is a very scary statement; the beauty of a free society is you don’t have to need something. If you are law abiding and can afford it you can have it. If you start allowing people to have only those things they need. Well then most of what you now own would go away. Most of the things that you do would be stopped. Keep in mind the cause of the accident is unknown at this time so it is very premature to blame anything or anyone.

Posted by: thenev | May 22, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I think the statemnt that he veered and crossed six lanes of traffic should be pretty telling that he was probably unconcious. it sisn't say he went back and forth across the road as you would if you were trying to gain control of your vehicle. I hope they don't find out he was texting or spilled hot coffee in his lap or something like that. I think it would be easier for both families if there were some previously undetected medical condition, so there is noone to have to wonder if you will forgive......

Posted by: dbrine1261 | May 23, 2010 5:22 AM | Report abuse

Everyone is so quick to judge and offer their comment when no one knows what the truth is. My condolences go out to the family of the cyclist. Gary you will always be in our hearts and minds forever. You will always be a RIP!!! We love you!

Posted by: kklucas_98 | May 23, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

OK FiRST OF ALL GARY THORNE WAS MY BROTHER IN LAW YES HE DROVE A SUV BUT HE DROVE IT WELL. GARY NEVER SPED HE WAS A SAFE DRiVER. THOSE ARE VERY RUDE COMMENTS SOME OF YOU ARE MAKING ABOUT HIM.THERE WERE TWO PEOPLE THAT PASSED AWAY IN THAT ACCIDENT NOT JUST ONE.EVEYONE IS MAKING IT SEEM LIKE BECAUSE HE WAS 31 YEARS YOUNG AND HIT A 18 YEAR OLD BOY HE IS A BAD PESON. GARY WOULD NEVE DO ANYTHING TO HUT ANYBODY HE WAS ABOUT LOVE.THATS ALL HE TALKED ABOUT WAS LOVE.GARY WAS A GOOD MAN ALL HE WANTED WAS PEACE BETWEEN ONE ANOTHER. HE WAS SUPPOSE TO TURN 32 THE NEXT DAY AND IT HURTS SOO BAD THAT HE WASNT HERE FOR HIS BIRTHDAY! GARY WE LOVE YOU AND TRULY MISS YOU. YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTON. WE ALL MISS YOU SOO MUCH THIS HOUSE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME WITHOUT YOU IN IT. YOUR ROOM SMELLS JUST LIKE YOU IT HURTS ME AND PAT TO GO OUT THEE SOOO BAD. THIS STILL DOESNT SEEM REAL YET. I STILL FEEL LIKE YOUR GONNA WALK IN THE ROOM AND SAY HEY LOVE WITH A BIG SMILE ACROSS YOUR FACE.IT HURTS SOOO BAD GARY . YOU WERENT SUPPOSE TO LEAVE US YET.BUT I KNOW WILL ALL SEE YOU AGAIN.R.i.P

Posted by: mbaker123 | May 25, 2010 3:52 AM | Report abuse

There was not one victim in this tragic situation there were two.

Two young men died
Two families will not see their loved one
Two Mothers are feeling pain that most of us can’t even imagine.
Two Fathers have lost their sons


There is a non verbal misunderstanding and misconception with this situation. I don’t care what you drive. It could be a smart car or a tank nobody wants something like this to happen. You have not seen a situation yet were it was somebody’s intention or fault rather directly or indirectly wants to veer across 6 lanes of traffic at 4 pm on a Friday where rush hour has started in this area take a young mans life that they do not know and then end his on life by running into a tree the day before his birthday and leave his children and family forever. Since nobody wants to say it I will. If drinking or drugs were involved this is Fairfax county you would know by now and the police would not still be asking for witnesses . So please understand TWO young men will not come home tonight and TWO families are in pain.

Posted by: Thick_Redbone_Chick | May 28, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

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