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Girl, 9, killed in Fairfax

A 9-year-old Fairfax County girl was struck by a car and fatally injured Monday afternoon while crossing a road on her bicycle, county police said.

Rebecca Johns of Clermont Drive was struck about 4:30 p.m. south of Alexandria on Franconia Road, police said.

Two teenage girls had crossed Franconia near Cannon Lane, but when Rebecca tried to cross, she was hit, police said.

-- Martin Weil

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 31, 2010; 1:32 AM ET
Categories:  Fairfax , Martin Weil , Traffic Accidents  
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This report breaks my heart into a million pieces. My condolences to her family who no doubt is in extreme pain. I hope they find peace in this horrible time.

Posted by: meliselizabeth | August 31, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

This story is really sad, and I find myself grieving with the family.
However, the report is somewhat lacking in facts. If I was the reporter writing this story, I would've included more facts. Who, what, when, and where, and also why, are some questions which a newspaper reporter should ask; then put these facts in the story so the reader can read them.
The accident occurred on Franconia Road, which is a five lane, state road (Rt. 644), two travel lanes in each direction and a center turning lane. The speed limit is 35MPH. Those facts were obtained from Google Maps. On closer examination, at the spot where the collision occurred , Franconia Rd. is two lanes, with sporadic sections of road shoulder, and signs that say "BIKE ROUTE".
Okay, we have the name of the girl who got killed, but the story doesn't say the name of the driver who hit her. It should be the other way around, because she's a minor.
The other questions not answered are "what?" and "why?" What was the make model and color of the car? Did the Police impound the car for a brake test? Why did the car hit the girl? Was there any fog, maybe sun-glare from the setting sun? Did the girl suddenly appear from behind a parked car? Was anyone speeding, either the driver that hit her, or the driver behind him?
I'm tired of these stories, where the driver literally gets away with murder, and the Police don't even give him a speeding ticket. The road has "BIKE ROUTE" signs, already. Maybe the driver can't read English?
I suspect the driver has political connections, and the Police were told to let him go. That's just my opinion, I don't want to debate a conspiracy theory.
The cyclists will just have to be more vigilant.

Posted by: AviationMetalSmith | August 31, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I would like to say to Mrs. & Mr. Johns, my deepest sympathies and prayers go out to you and your family. I wish there was something more I could have done for your beautiful daughter. I can just say from personal account being there just after the accident that it is not an issue of fault or facts. The facts may not be entirely clear in the media (whether because they simple do not know or because they want to keep some aspects of the accident private) but I am sure the family is clear on what exactly happened. You should be careful to blame anyone of murder as you were not present...There was a little girl innocently riding her bike with a few older girls. She was trying to go quick and keep up with her friends. The driver, who was driving an early 2000s model mercury (but why does it matter? If there was an issue of brakes not working, I am sure it would be noted). He saw the first two girls and slowed down. However he unfortunately did not see the last. It was around 4:20, driving conditions were excellent. The child was crossing the street riding her bike, not in a cross walk and not walking her bike. She was wearing a helmet. The 80 yr old gentleman was not speeding and was beside himself with worry. The road is not 4 lanes, rather it is 2. There is no turn lane and the shoulder is not wide. The bike path runs parallel to the busy road, but driving that road everyday I have yet to notice a "bike route" sign. Again, my deepest prayers go to the Johns' family.

Posted by: alexandrian54 | August 31, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

First to the Johns family, my deepest heartfelt condolences go out to your family in the tragic loss of your beautiful daughter, Rebecca. Words cannot even describe the shock and disbelief I felt when I heard Rebeccas name during the news last night. Surely there must be another Rebecca Johns I said to myself, but it was not to be. God had a plan and called on an angel to sit by his side. RIP Rebecca.

To the General Public: As a close friend of the family it saddens me to see those who have to argue the media reports, the absence of facts (which I might add couldnt possibly be mentioned due to the sheer fact that the police wont know until reconstruction does their thing). These things are mute points to the tragic loss of a beautiful girl. What IS important is the loss this family is going through, and how they will go on without that ray of sunshine in their lives. I think this should open eyes to the more important things in our lives, priority should be on family. Instead of criticism, pray for this family. They do not need to get online and see these reports, and dont forget who else may be reading them. The childs friends, siblings, family members, friends. STOP the insults and the who, what, why, where, etc. Get your facts straight. God has called a beautiful angel home to sit by his side. We may not understand why, but He has his reasons.

(BTW, facts about Franconia road is false. It is actually 6 lanes plus a turn lane further up from edison high school to springfield, 4 lanes and a turn lane from just past mark twain and up to edison high school and 2 lanes with no turn lane where the accident happened on down to telegraph road. I have seen cars get impatient with slow drivers (who are actually doing the speed limit) and fly past them when the lane widens a bit. Definitely not legal as they are not entering another lane, but just going around a car. Tragic because if a car was slowing down to let a pedestrian or bicylist cross, they are in danger of being hit by the person flying around. The county/state needs to do SOMETHING with this road. It is a dangerous area and there is little that the county is doing. We pay taxes as a citizen in this county, I would like to see my hard earned money at work to protect the general public, especially the children)

Posted by: mnchkds1 | September 1, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Becky's mom was my daughter's Brownie troop leader. Becky was also in my daughter's class at Clermont. Cannon Rd and Franconia Rd intersection is about 2 blocks from my house. This hits very close to home since I have to be the one to explain this to my daughter and I have to drive over Becky's blood every day to and from my work. Becky's parents are parents to every neighborhood child and their family is a model for all families.

God rest her soul.

Posted by: johnmoran1 | September 2, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

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