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Posted at 6:07 AM ET, 10/12/2010

Pedestrian struck, killed on I-270

By Debbi Wilgoren

A woman who was walking on Interstate 270 near Gaithersburg late Monday night was fatally injured when she was struck by a car and then an out-of-service Metrobus Ride On bus, Maryland state police said.

Police were working Tuesday morning to determine the woman's identity.

State police said in a statement that the woman was walking in "lane 4" of southbound I-270, south of Route 124, when she was struck about 11:52 p.m. She was hit first by a 1996 Cadillac, and then by the bus Metrobus. No additional information was immediately available.

By Debbi Wilgoren  | October 12, 2010; 6:07 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation  
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Comments

Why was she walking on an interstate? Was she walking from a broken down vehicle?

Posted by: Hypocritic | October 12, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

I can't even begin to understand how many serious traffic accidents seem to be occurring. Is the Post just covering them more, or are they happening with alarmingly more frequency? And if so on either count, why?

Posted by: public-washingtonpost-com | October 12, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

She was walking 'in lane 4' not on the shoulder? Her car probably broke down and she was walking to get help. I guess she didn't have a cell phone.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | October 12, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

"I can't even begin to understand how many serious traffic accidents seem to be occurring. Is the Post just covering them more, or are they happening with alarmingly more frequency? And if so on either count, why?"

Posted by: public-washingtonpost-com | October 12, 2010 8:08 AM
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Just because it is reported more doesn't mean it's occurring more. Maybe with the wide proliferation of the internet local stories, which ordinarily wouldn't be seen outside that jurisdiction, are seen by all.

Posted by: jab00 | October 12, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

DEAR READERS:

You need to stop assuming.

To jab00: Gaithersburg is local. Dupont is local. They are happening more. It's not like Al Gore just invented the internet. It's been around for a while.

To Jimof1913: You have no idea if her car broke down, if she was nuts or drunk and got out of the car (as a driver or passenger,) wanted to die, was just walking down the interstate as a hitchhiker, or whatever.

Posted by: ryanNdc | October 12, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I'd say she had been drinking or drugging with some death wish. Either that or just walked away from a mental institution. Why else would somebody be walking in the middle of an interstate at almost midnight? Unless she doesn't have the brains she was born with?

Posted by: reesemichael | October 12, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I agree we should hold back on the assumptions here. This article is only 89 words long, and none of those words are "drink, drunk, alcohol, drugs, substance abuse, mental patient" etc. There is no description of 'lane 4', so we don't know if this is the state police's label for the shoulder or the fast lane or any in between. All we know is that an individual tragically lost her life on I-270 last night. That said, I am alarmed by the number of car accidents involving pedestrians in the DC area. It seems to be a combination of factors including poor driver education - most notably in Maryland - distracted driving, distracted walking (yes, it's possible), general operational incompetence (like failing to turn on your headlights after dark), and a propensity to drive while drunk in highly populated areas. Many behind the wheel just feel that a catastrophic driving accident is so exceptional that it could never happen to them - or because of them. We let down our guard, and someone loses their life.

Posted by: smart-aleck | October 12, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I agree we should hold back on the assumptions here. This article is only 89 words long, and none of those words are "drink, drunk, alcohol, drugs, substance abuse, mental patient" etc. There is no description of 'lane 4', so we don't know if this is the state police's label for the shoulder or the fast lane or any in between. All we know is that an individual tragically lost her life on I-270 last night. That said, I am alarmed by the number of car accidents involving pedestrians in the DC area. It seems to be a combination of factors including poor driver education - most notably in Maryland - distracted driving, distracted walking (yes, it's possible), general operational incompetence (like failing to turn on your headlights after dark), and a propensity to drive while drunk in highly populated areas. Many behind the wheel just feel that a catastrophic driving accident is so exceptional that it could never happen to them - or because of them. We let down our guard, and someone loses their life.

Posted by: smart-aleck | October 12, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. In Maryland, Lane 1 is always the lane closest to the median on a multi-lane highway (i.e., the fast lane). So, in this case, along southbound I-270 between MD 124 and MD 117, Lane 4 would be the lane adjacent to the right shoulder.

Posted by: GreenMeansGo | October 12, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

One current local pedestrian safety awareness campaign shows cartoonish illustrations of people tumbling over car hoods and the like.

While well-intended, this is far too tame.

Many people don't seem to take these safety issues very seriously; this complacent attitude is about as old as the automobile itself.

Dying of internal bleeding from massive blunt-force trauma injuries is a horrifying way to perish (and is just one of many ways you can die in an auto "accident"). Perhaps drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and others need to be reminded in starker, more realistic terms about the perils of our roadways.

These terse news items -- often devoid of context or concrete detail for various reasons -- don't cut it.

And instead of just hand-wringing on public boards, we ought to work with our local leaders to enact effective measures that reduce this kind of road carnage. Or volunteer our time in civic efforts that do likewise.

What say you?

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | October 12, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

What is going on? Everyday a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle somewhere in the DC metropolitan area lately. I always thought not getting hit by a car is something that should be in the control of the pedestrian unless of course a car jumps the curb or something then that is probably beyond your control.

Posted by: TG10 | October 12, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Washington Post your correction are showing in the article.

Posted by: dbarnes1 | October 12, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I remember when I was in in high school, in the very early 1990s, some nut would set up a law chair and just sit in one of the lanes on 270.

Posted by: scoran | October 12, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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