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Autobot Bumblebee takes a hit

[This item has been updated since it was first posted]

[This post will be continually updated as new information becomes available]

Report from the set: Bumblebee collides with a D.C. police SUV

Latest news: D.C. police are allowing the cast and crew of "Transformers 3" to resume filming Tuesday night near the National Mall, after a two-vehicle accident Monday left an officer with minor injuries.

Officers met with production officials to discuss the accident, and "enhanced safety measures" are being implemented at Third Street between Constitution Avenue NW and Independence Avenue SW, which is scheduled to be closed from 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. The procedures are internal police protocols, according to police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump.

"Measures are in place to ensure that an incident like yesterday does not occur again," she said.

There was "some discussion about whether they need hard barriers there but, given the nature of the filming, it was impractical," said John Lisle, a spokesman for the District Department of Transportation.

Police said the accident is still under investigation.

-- Derek Kravitz

Original post: Bright yellow Autobot Bumblebee apparently collided with a police car Monday afternoon in what authorities say was an unscripted accident on the set of "Transformers 3" near the National Mall.

The D.C. police SUV was en route to the scene of a suspicious package when the collision occurred at Third Street and Maryland Avenue NW, police said. The package had been reported at 901 F St. NW, police said.

One officer who works with explosive ordnance was taken to a local hospital as a precaution, and the driver piloting Bumblebee was not injured, said District Police spokeswoman Tisha Gant. The accident occurred at about 3:30 p.m. when the police SUV driving southbound on Third collided with the eastbound car on the set, Gant said.

Fans of the "Transformers" may recall that Bumblebee, a brawny Chevy Camaro, is known for having difficulty speaking - most of the time he can't talk - and often uses the car stereo to communicate his feelings. No word on what tunes emanated from his MP3 player after the big bang - or if he had an understudy waiting in the wings.

-- Mary Pat Flaherty

Have you spotted an Autobot or a Decepticon? Let us know. Here's a map of Transformer sightings around the area. Use #transformers to tell us where you are and what you saw!

"Transformers 3" filming street closures and parking restrictions

Original post: Dcist is reporting on Autobot Bumblebee crushing his front end into what appears to be a police vehicle during filming of "Transformers 3" near the National Museum of the American Indian. The brawny yellow Camaro backs up and appears to smash into the vehicle as some of his fellow Autobots roll by, including Optimus Prime in his Peterbilt guise.

We're checking on details as to whether this is part of the movie, or a real accident.

By Michael Bolden  | October 11, 2010; 5:02 PM ET
Categories:  District, Events  
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If the "suspicious package" was at 9th and F NW, why was the cop responding at a high rate of speed southbound on 3rd at the National Mall? Either the officer was going way out of his way or the movie set led him on a HUGE detour. If the movie set is causing police detours that drive down response times, perhaps turning downtown DC's streets into a movie set on a weekday should be reconsidered.

Posted by: WBDC | October 11, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Jesus...the FIRST day they are in town and they cause a car accident, with a police officer no less.

Why in gods name is the filming being allowed during the week? Can't this stuff be relegated to the weekend?

Posted by: Nosh1 | October 11, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

A lot of movie are shot in DC. Doing it
on a weekend will not help.
The police not flying though a closed set will.

Posted by: jjgrah | October 11, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

@jjgrah: Know what will help even more? Not turning our busy city streets into a "closed set" in the middle of the work week for the benefit of a private company and at the inconvenience of a huge number of tax-paying citizens.

Posted by: mccxxiii | October 11, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

@jjgrah: Know what will help even more? Not turning our busy city streets into a "closed set" in the middle of the work week for the benefit of a private company and at the inconvenience of a huge number of tax-paying citizens.

Posted by: mccxxiii | October 11, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

first - why was the officer going south on 3rd st SW for a call at 901 F st NW, second - 3rd and Maryland NW doesn't exist..., third - it isn't the middle of a busy week, today was a federal holiday and vehicle traffic and congestion in the city was at the lowest it will be all week

Posted by: Brian6961 | October 12, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

The benefit isn't just for a private company, the city also gets a cut for filming - the filming crew pays taxes for those in hotels, provides jobs for locals, etc. Plus, the film provides free tourism promotion for DC - many more kids watching are going to want to see where these autobots battled it out.

Posted by: dcheel1 | October 12, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Hmn. "Bumblebee crashed right into a police car?"
I've viewed this collision from two distinct angles now, and it seems clear that the MPD SUV crashes into Bumblebee. It was traveling at an excessive rate of speed on a street that was closed for film production.

And as others have observed, the officer seemed to be heading in the completely wrong direction to respond to suspicious package scene at 9th and F NW.

Ms. Flaherty, I suppose it makes for a cutesy coincidence for you to note that the befuddled *character* Bumblebee took a huge hit and "had to be pulled along by one of his Autobot buddies" in the first film. But I'm not sure how you can assert that the *driver* missed his marks yesterday.

I think you might have, though.

Posted by: okayavenue | October 12, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

The article makes it appears as if the movie set was at fault. The Police officer drove through an active movie set that was blocked off for all other traffic. The autobots were in the right this time. However, I fear they will all get parking tickets and be booted after this incident

Posted by: PepperDr | October 12, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Not a fan of this filming here. Non-action movies don't require the extent of road closures, etc. DC is a clusterf*** on a good day; the last thing we need is to have massive swaths of the Mall shut down disrupting already god-awful rush hours at the same time that the Metro is doing track work on one of the busiest lines. Whose idiotic idea was this?

Posted by: rhalter3633 | October 12, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

It was the cop's fault.

Other videos show the police SUV driving around a barricade. In fact, the cop nearly hit the semi head-on.

Posted by: blasmaic | October 12, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Bumblebee will always be a classic Beetle to me.

Posted by: sarahabc | October 12, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I guess the cop didn't get the memo or he just wanted be in the action...LOL

Posted by: MYPOST10 | October 12, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Flaherty-
Thank you for revising this story. It seems a bit more balanced.

But I'm surprised that although you indicate that the post has been updated, you completely deleted the version of the story I commented on. Instead, you allow the "original post" to appear as the only post. We both know it is not.

I believe online media should enable flexibility, speed and (where appropriate) community input in reporting—but not revisionist history.

It seems you disagree.

Posted by: okayavenue | October 12, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

This makes no sense. Either the Post has the facts wrong on the location of the suspicious package or the cop heading south on 3rd Street had absolutely nothing to do with responding to the package.

Posted by: blankspace | October 12, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm laughing so hard I can barely stay in my chair!!!

What a bunch of incompetent bozos!

Also, why is DC closing off public streets to allow filming of a movie which would primarily benefit a few very wealthy hollywood moguls?

Must be Republicans and more welfare for the rich.

I hope DC sues the bajeezers out of the movie makers. If someone wants to make a movie let them do it on private property! If there are accidents during filming on private property it's the private property owner who is liable for any damages.

Lastly, why are they covering that stupid yellow car after the accident?

Posted by: montana123 | October 12, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

It's called marketing.

Posted by: Gary12 | October 12, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

someone check the cop car for a Decepticon insignia!

Posted by: 3tripleiii | October 12, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever noticed how many knee-jerks there are in the world?

Posted by: ouvan59 | October 12, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Some have mentioned that it was a "busy weekday," but it was a business holiday in DC. In their defense, it was probably a better decision to have it on Columbus Day when less people would be in the city than during the weekend when tourists come out to play.

Posted by: thelostistari | October 12, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@jjgrah: Know what will help even more? Not turning our busy city streets into a "closed set" in the middle of the work week for the benefit of a private company and at the inconvenience of a huge number of tax-paying citizens.

Posted by: mccxxiii | October 11, 2010 10:29 PM

The city gets paid for allowing the filming to take place, and I'm sure the area hotels, eateries, and catering services are quite happy to have the stars, and workers here in the city spending money.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | October 12, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"The city gets paid for allowing the filming to take place"

Are you sure about that? How do you know?How much, exactly, IS the city being paid for blocking off streets in a busy part of town?

Also, who's going to pay for the damaged MPD police SUV and compensate DC residents for the inconvenience of having a major street blocked off? My bet is the film maker won't pay a red cent, nada, zero, zippo and the DC tax payer will be stuck with the bill for all the damages.

Isn't "free enterprise" and "capitalism" wonderful?

The risk is socialized and the gain is privatized!

How do you like them "family values"?

Vote Republican next November and you'll get more of this "class warfare" of "redistributing wealth" from the middle class and poor to the wealthy.

Posted by: montana123 | October 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Proof that DC Police work for the Decepticons.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: obcat | October 12, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

@professor wrightbsu,

Except according to some extras working the movie, the cast and crew are set up in hotels in crystal city and the catering is being done by some Ballston company.

However, lets assume for a second you are right.

So you get a crew of 80-100 people in hotel rooms eating at dc restaurants for a week? Wow...sounds like any other week in DC where you have multiple school field trips going on. There are 29000 hotel rooms in the district. Booking 80-100 of them for a week is no financial windfall to anyone.

DC gets what, 90K, 100K in fees to allow the filming after we have to endure a week of road closures on already packed downtown streets?

But now we have to pay to replace the police suv and pay for the officers healthcare etc.

DC is at best breaking even on crap like this and thats if they were actually using dc hotels and facilities, which they aren't. Its a huge inconvenience to everyone who lives and works here and DC gets nothing from it.

Reminds me of the lexus lanes along the beltway...

Posted by: Nosh1 | October 12, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Transformers 2 was so awful that I thought they would have buried the franchise. Someone run over Michael Bay with Optimus Prime and then run over Bruckheimer for good measure.

Posted by: theobserver4 | October 12, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

@montana123: "Isn't "free enterprise" and "capitalism" wonderful? "

Yes. Yes it is. People doing work, making money, inventing things, even paying taxes so the oppressed can collect their welfare.

What do you have that's better?

Posted by: keepandbear | October 12, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"Optimus Prime" sounds like an investment fund or something.

They really should have kept Transformers animated instead of venturing into this live action territory.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | October 12, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"People doing work, making money, inventing things, even paying"

How about Wall St. scum bags devising new financial scams each day, sending American jobs overseas and then paying themselves big bonuses, destroying the U.S. ecnonomy and then getting bailed out by government (Hey wait! I thought that's socialism!) Oh, I get it. It's only socialism if we give money to the middle class and poor.

"What do you have that's better?"

While far from perfect, the European model of capitalism is a far more humane form of capitalism than what we have in the U.S. The European model has a more equitable distribution of wealth, a more generous social safety net, and the average European enjoys a much higher standard living than the average person in the U.S. does. The European form of capitalism does have it's problems which the right wing noise machine in the U.S. loves to exagerate to justify the U.S. form of capitalism.

The American model of capitalism (i.e. "savage capitalism") primarily serves those at the very top of the income scale and everybody else gets screwed. If you don't believe it look at the income distribution in this country. The wealthiest 20% in the U.S. possess 90% of the total wealth.

Lastly, don't give me the Fox News propaganda of there being higher unemployment in Europe. It's totally false. The average person (I emphasize AVERAGE) enjoys a much higher standard of living in Europe than in the U.S.

I were among the super rich in the U.S. I would support American capitalism as well.

Posted by: montana123 | October 12, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

It's all a lie! The DC Police are really the Decepticons bent on global annihilation. Without Bumblebee, only Optimus remains standing with the human race.

Posted by: HillRat | October 12, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The Decepticons and Dick Cheney are behind this.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | October 12, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Don't tell me there was only one Bumblebee. How come a police car didn't know he was driving into the film set? DC cops are such boneheads.

Posted by: forgetthis | October 12, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse


Let me guess, Europe is much better but you're stuck here, or you want to change us from within for the better, or whatever.

Posted by: keepandbear | October 12, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

From watching other angles of the accident, what disturbs me the most is that the movie crew are more concerned about covering up the stunt car with a tarp then they are at checking on the police officer who was just injured by their driver. I say shut down the whole set until they get their priorities straight.

Posted by: roteki | October 12, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

This is from the form you fill out to shoot in DC.

All Productions regardless of size (except Student Projects) are required to submit an original, signed Certificate of Insurance in an amount of $1,000,000 minimum per instance of claim for general liability, listing the “Government of the District of Columbia” as additional insured before a permit can be issued.

Go to
and get schooled.

Posted by: jjgrah | October 12, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

"Bumblebee just transformed into a wreck."

hands down, funniest quote from the video.

Posted by: sloppyawn | October 13, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Where the Classy, Attractive & Affluent Meet. Start Searching Now

Posted by: pasteurluis13 | October 13, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

So what was the so-called suspicious package?

Posted by: getjiggly1 | October 13, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

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