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Hit and run in Tysons

accident Police on the scene of hit and run at Route 7/Leesburg Pike near the Beltway. (Gerald Martineau/Post)

The stretch of Route 7 remains closed.

6:25 A.M. UPDATE:
The police are looking for a silver Toyota Camry with a damaged front bumper, according to WTOP. And anyone with information on the accident is asked to call the police at 703-691-2131.

A hit and run accident killed a man in Tysons Corner early Wednesday morning. The accident took place on eastbound Route 7/Leesburg Pike near the Beltway. Route 7 eastbound is closed between Gallows Road/International Drive and the Beltway, and the ramps to I-495 from Leesburg Pike are closed in both directions (from east and west), according to Fairfax County Police officials. Otherwise, westbound traffic on Leesburg Pike is not affected.

By Mark Berman  |  February 24, 2010; 6:01 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  
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I tip my hat to the great job that Fairfax County planners did in the 1970s-1980s when they decided that a bloated office park with dreary architecture, wide roads, and massive surface parking lots was the "best" use for the land that present-day Tysons Corner is sited upon. As someone who works in this armpit I've seen NUMEROUS close calls with pedestrians practically playing "Frogger" with speeding vehicles along Leesburg Pike, Greensboro Drive, International Drive, Westpark Drive, etc. I've had a few close calls myself with people on cell phones making right-hand-turns-on-red when I'm in the crosswalk. I'm so sorry this individual was killed and this his family will now suffer because Virginia is light years behind the rest of the nation in terms of urban planning. I was nearly hit the other day while running IN Wiehle Avenue in Reston because the sidewalks (what few there are) have still not been plowed. When is Fairfax County and/or VDOT actually going to START to clear walkways so more fatalities won't happen?

Posted by: NoVARunner86 | February 24, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Sadly I'm not surprised...This is a very dangerous place to walk, both because there aren't any sidewalks, and because people don't drive well in the area. Fairfax county should definitely think about putting sidewalks here, since there is no way for a pedestrian to safely get across the beltway here.

Posted by: kendall015 | February 24, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

This is tragic, especially if it is because of lack of sidewalks or the fact that they weren't cleared. I live in Manassas and usually walk a mile to my bus stop but since the snow I haven't been able to because the sidewalks haven't been cleared. Fortunately I have a car I can use, but many people don't. And I see many people out walking on Route 234 because sidewalks don't exist in many places. As for Reston, I lived there for several years and loved it because of it's many sidewalks and trails. I am surprised to hear someone say it doesn't have many. You can get all the way from North Reston to the south end on a sidewalk. But if they aren't being cleared than it is bad too.

Posted by: TG10 | February 24, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

How sad :*(

Posted by: sigmagrrl | February 24, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I agree completely with NoVARunner86. I have had so many close calls in the Tysons corner area, especially on International Drive. Only in Virginia do drivers NOT yield to people in the cross-walk. You think that works in NYC, or downtown DC, or even Maryland? The pedestrian always has the right away. But not in Tysons. I called several times after almost being hit while crossing International Dr. to Tysons Corner only to be told - "well, you should have yielded to the drivers EVEN THOUGH the cross walk said WALK." Unbelievable!

Posted by: clickums | February 24, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

If you're worried about being yielded to while lawfully in the crosswalk, start carrying a hammer.

That said, I don't see a sidewalk or crosswalk anywhere near the "scene" in the picture. Are we looking at a self-absorbed jaywalker or an actual road design failure?

Posted by: member5 | February 24, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

No disrespect to the deceased intended, but do we know that he was in a crosswalk? I'd like to know the facts of the accident before casting judgment on either party, with the exception of saying that the driver is clearly in the wrong for fleeing the scene.

I have to say that while the snow forcing people to walk in the street is a problem, I've noted some crazy behavior by pedestrians lately. If you have to walk in the street at night due to the snow, it does not make sense to wear all black clothing, especially if you happen to be black. It makes it mighty hard for drivers to see you until the last second. Again, I don't mean to suggest that any of the above may have contributed in this case--I don't know.

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 24, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Being a responsible pedestrian is just as important as being an alert driver.

Virginia does rank last when it comes to pedestrian friendly roadways, but I disagree with clickums - DC and Maryland aren't any better than the good ol' Commonwealth. I've had countless close calls in DC and been given the finger by drivers in Maryland while having the right-of-way as a pedestrian.

Drivers shouldn't necessarily be to blame. If there aren't crosswalks or sidewalks, that suggests to me that maybe pedestrians should figure out a different route. Some roads just aren't meant to host pedestrians.

Posted by: aprible | February 24, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

People should probably use the crosswalk and wait for the walk signal. I witness a lot of crazies walking into traffic.

It's nearly impossible to prevent injuries from cars that run red lights.

Posted by: melador | February 24, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I drive past this location at least a couple times a week (depends if I take 66 or GW Parkway back home from work).

There are no crosswalks there. There are no sidewalks there.

But unfortunately, there is no other way to get across the Beltway. There are no crosswalks or sidewalks on Route 123 either. So if you don't have a car, what do you do if you need to get from one side to the other? Its a real problem.

The big problem though is that people don't walk though this area safely. These ramps to/from the beltway are not designed with sharp turns...they have nice gradual turns. Thus, someone walking in the road who stays parallel to Route 7 is in the ramp for a long time. A smart walker would walk down the right side of the ramp, and cross perpendicular to the ramp to minimize the time in the roadway.

Posted by: thetan | February 24, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

It's really great that so many people can blame the pedestrian for being hit and killed. I suppose the driver who hit him - AND THEN FLED - should not be held responsible at all. How do we know the driver wasn't drunk or on drugs or maybe didn't even have a license?

It's hard to tell from the picture, but did the driver even try to stop? Or was s/he, like so many other drivers around here, distracted by something and didn't even notice the pedestrian until they hit him?

Posted by: cookie714 | February 24, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"cookie714," I think the answer to your post is that nobody knows who was at fault. Clearly the driver was in the wrong for not stopping after hitting the pedestrian. Beyond that, nobody can assign blame either way since there are no facts and no evidence. It's all speculation. Your comment has a "blame the driver" tone that is no more helpful than any comment that might be construed as blaming the pedestrian, and the only comment that might--and I emphasize MIGHT--be construed as suggesting it was the pedestrian's fault is the one by "melador."

But comments about the area not being safe for pedestrians are not comments casting blame.

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 24, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

NoVARunner86 Wrote;
"I was nearly hit the other day while running IN Wiehle Avenue in Reston because the sidewalks (what few there are) have
still not been plowed. When is Fairfax County and/or VDOT actually going to START to clear walkways so more fatalities won't happen?"

Nothing ever seems to change in human nature. Back during a heavy snowstorm in 1978, Wilson Blvd was down to two barely passable lanes and westbound traffic was reduced to a crawl primarily due to the fact that an inconsiderate jogger, finding the sidewalks impassable with snow and running in the travel lane, never considered the plight of hundreds of harried commuters just trying to get home. Runners and bicyclists need to show a little consideration for their fellow citizens by remaining out of the public roadways until this record-breaking snowfall is cleared away.

Posted by: slim2 | February 24, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Joggers, bicyclists, and pedestrians have as much a right to use the road regardless of weather. It's not their fault that the county failed to build sidewalks and crosswalks. It's not their fault that the county failed to plow snow off the sidewalks when they did the roads as well.

The tax dollars of pedestrians and bicyclists are used to build and maintain these roads so they have as much a right to use them until the county finally builds suitable sidewalks and crosswalks that are free of snow and obstacles.

In the meantime, respect the right of pedestrians and bicyclists to use the roads. Re-direct your anger and complaints to the county and demand it build 6-foot wide sidewalks on both sides of the road, install bike lanes, and crosswalks, and keep them all free of snow and obstacles.

This country is too focused on automobiles to the detriment of pedestrians, many of whom are our children, elderly people, the disabled, low-income, and those wishing to improve the health of their lives or reduce their impact on the environment.

Posted by: | February 24, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Six foot wide sidewalks? How fat are you?

Posted by: member5 | February 24, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

This man was killed by a driver who then left the scene. The driver committed a homicide; whether it was accidental or intentional remains to be seen, and other circumstances (what the pedestrian was doing, what he was wearing) are unclear. So, here we have a driver who HAS committed at least one crime by leaving the scene. Why are so many of you focused on casting aspersions on the pedestrian?

Posted by: myrna38717 | February 24, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I would not be surprised if the person who killed and ran was an insurance worker! A lot of these runners work in industries where they understand the consequence of their crime.

Posted by: FiatBooks | February 24, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, I drive this stretch every morning at approx. 5 AM and there was frequently a guy walking in this area that should not have been. There are not any crosswalks or sidewalks. From past experience, I've been nearly on top of the guy walking (or sometimes riding a bike) on the side of the road in this spot in dark clothing before I see them. I'm sorry the guy died, but it was only a matter of time before this happened. He shouldn't have been walking there. It's a major road with narrow shoulders in this area and people are accelerating to get on the beltway. It was not meant for, nor should there be, pedestrian traffic in that area.

Posted by: masnef2002 | February 25, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

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