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Posted at 11:23 AM ET, 09/21/2010

Md. candidate struck by SUV has died

By Washington Post editors

Natasha Pettigrew, a 30-year-old Maryland Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, has died from injuries she received after she was hit by an SUV while riding her bike early Sunday morning, WUSA 9 reports.

Pettigrew was training to compete in a triathlon about 5:30 a.m. Sunday when she was struck by a Cadillac Escalade headed south on Route 202 near the intersection with Campus Way, said Cpl. Darryl Clark, the duty officer at the Maryland State Police’s Forestville barrack.

Pettigrew’s bike was trapped underneath the SUV, and the driver traveled all the way home to an address in Cheverly apparently thinking “they ran over a deer,” Clark said.

By Washington Post editors  | September 21, 2010; 11:23 AM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
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Comments

This is so utterly tragic, another senseless loss of a promising young life due to the carelessness and dangerous nature of our roadways. My thoughts are with Ms. Pettigrew's family.

Posted by: turnageb | September 21, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

What irony, a Green Party member hit by an SUV. So, basically it was hit and run. How do you hit a bike-rider and think you hit a deer. This driver is obviously too stupid to be driving. Any charges?

Posted by: jckdoors | September 21, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

So sad. Some people are just driving around oblivious to everything and have no regard for the safety of others.

Posted by: PepperDr | September 21, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Glad I didn't waste my vote...

Posted by: rpcv84 | September 21, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately for whatever reason Pettigrew wasn't wearing any retroreflective or illuminated gear and was riding in predawn hours in an area without overhead illumination.

A bicyclist has to make themselves as visible as possible!

Posted by: vuac | September 21, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.

Posted by: krickey7 | September 21, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Words cannot begin to describe my disgust with the Escalade driver. What the .... ?!?!

No.....Seriously, WTF?

Please tell me this driver is getting thrown the book. Please!

Posted by: slydell | September 21, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

This is very sad but not surprising. I live near this area, near Prince George's Community College, and drivers are not respectful to pedestrians or bikers. There needs to be a re-education for everyone about pedestrian/biker safety, especially as people become more active and green.

Posted by: tlspencer1 | September 21, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"What irony, a Green Party member hit by an SUV. So, basically it was hit and run. How do you hit a bike-rider and think you hit a deer. This driver is obviously too stupid to be driving. Any charges?"

Posted by: jckdoors

=================================

The instant I saw it was 5:30 am on a Sunday morning, two words came to mind:

drunk

driver

And why hasn't there been an arrest? Hit and run, at the very least!

Posted by: cibor | September 21, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Even if she thought she hit a deer wouldn't a responsible driver get out and at least check and see what they hit??? She knew she hit someone and just got scared and fled is what I think!!! How are you going to drive from seat pleasant which is where campus way is to cheverly and not hear a bycicle dragging under your car??? Hope charges are filed and if she kept going to her house THAT IS A HIT AND RUN. Calling the cops when you get home makes it ok??? I am bewildered by this. God bless this poor childs family. May she rest in peace.

Posted by: kimmckeithan | September 21, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I have absolutely no idea how someone can mistake a deer for a human.

Posted by: reiflame1 | September 21, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Even if she thought she hit a deer wouldn't a responsible driver get out and at least check and see what they hit??? She knew she hit someone and just got scared and fled is what I think!!! How are you going to drive from seat pleasant which is where campus way is to cheverly and not hear a bycicle dragging under your car??? Hope charges are filed and if she kept going to her house THAT IS A HIT AND RUN. Calling the cops when you get home makes it ok??? I am bewildered by this. God bless this poor childs family. May she rest in peace.

Posted by: kimmckeithan | September 21, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse
_____________________________________
Ummm....that is not Seat Pleasant! That is Largo, which has an Upper Marlboro address. PGCC is at this intersection, when was the last time you heard of PGCC being in Seat Pleasant? Route 202 doesn't even go through Seat Pleasant!

Anyway this is sad and the driver should be charged, no questions asked. I don't care what the situation is, as drivers, we are always taught that the pedestrian has the right of way. Something tells me that this driver is lying though. If you supposedly didn't see what you hit then how would you know if it was a deer or not? Wouldn't common sense tell you to go and check this out? Either way this is a hit and run and the driver should be charged accordingly.

Posted by: meatkins | September 21, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Even if she thought she hit a deer wouldn't a responsible driver get out and at least check and see what they hit??? She knew she hit someone and just got scared and fled is what I think!!! How are you going to drive from seat pleasant which is where campus way is to cheverly and not hear a bycicle dragging under your car??? Hope charges are filed and if she kept going to her house THAT IS A HIT AND RUN. Calling the cops when you get home makes it ok??? I am bewildered by this. God bless this poor childs family. May she rest in peace.

Posted by: kimmckeithan | September 21, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse
_____________________________________
Ummm....that is not Seat Pleasant! That is Largo, which has an Upper Marlboro address. PGCC is at this intersection, when was the last time you heard of PGCC being in Seat Pleasant? Route 202 doesn't even go through Seat Pleasant!

Anyway this is sad and the driver should be charged, no questions asked. I don't care what the situation is, as drivers, we are always taught that the pedestrian has the right of way. Something tells me that this driver is lying though. If you supposedly didn't see what you hit then how would you know if it was a deer or not? Wouldn't common sense tell you to go and check this out? Either way this is a hit and run and the driver should be charged accordingly.

Posted by: meatkins | September 21, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The "I thought it was a deer" explanation has been used before, remember back in March, 2000 that corporate lawyer Jane L Wagner veered onto the shoulder of Virginia Route 7 and hit teenager Naeun Yoon, then waited several hours (I wonder why) to report that she had been involved in an accident? Wagner claimed to have "thought she hit a deer"

Posted by: vuac | September 21, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

How can you possibly drive a vehicle with a bike mangled underneath it?

Posted by: Soulbrother | September 21, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

And yet, the bike was trapped underneath the SUV--- and this drunkard didn't hear the noise it was making?

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | September 21, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

rpcv84, How insensitive can you be? Is there not a shred of decency in your ignorant little mind?

Much peace to the Pettigrew family. I saw an interview of this young woman and what a star she was. This county/state/world has lost a good one. Blessings.

Posted by: Is_this_thing_on | September 21, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

rpcv84, your comment is disgusting. And if you are indeed, an RPCV, I am even more appalled.

Posted by: mcaicedo | September 21, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

This goes to show you how bad news reporting is getting. On the Gazette they stated that the accident happened at the intersection of Central Avenue and Campus Way. It also stated that the driver lived in Upper Marlboro, not Cheverly. The article also stated Christy Littleford, the driver, says she stopped after the collision. I'm confused as how one incident can have some many inconsistent facts. Here is the article:

http://www.gazette.net/stories/09212010/prinnew104648_32556.php

Posted by: meatkins | September 21, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

How awful! Condolences to Ms. Pettigrew's family and friends.

Posted by: Itzajob | September 21, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

That is a very tragic accident. I 'liberated' from work a safety orange mesh vest (like road workers wear) with reflective stripes for whenever I ride my bicycle before dawn.

My condolences to her family. A life cut short is always a tragedy.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 21, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I was afraid that this woman would not survive this crash based on her mother's description of the condition of her daughter's body. R.I.P. Natasha.

As for the driver, I hope the police investigate whether the driver was on a cell phone - either talking or texting. Something is not right with the account. Like others have said, how could you not stop to inspect your vehicle KNOWING you hit something whether it was an animal, a person or some object on the street. What I saw on the news when the story broke was that the driver didn't see Natasha yet evidence shows she had on reflective material on her shoes and on her bicycle so obviously this driver is trying to cover their azz, but failing miserably. They're not calling it a hit and run because the driver did call police when they got home? If you hit someone on a bicycle with your vehicle and keep going, isn't that hit and run? Had the call come sooner, maybe her life could have been saved.

Posted by: streak | September 21, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Condolences.

Posted by: brian_away | September 21, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I am really really really sorry to hear this. Ever day I am so careful watching for cars in the road because I don't want something like this to happen to me. If every driver were just a little more careful...

Posted by: Anaxamander | September 21, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Tragic end to a promising life. Condolences to the Pettigrew family.

For all the idiots making comments about the driver- obviously there should be a law about drinking and typing. Until the investigation is complete,

Posted by: devilsadvocate3 | September 21, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone enlighten me on: Where was the driver going or coming from at 5:30 a.m. on a sunday,this time of the morning? How can you not see or get a quick view of what was in your path while driving. Also, the impact & noise of such alone would cause you to stop unless you where haul tailing it out of Dodge City ?? My condolences to the families of both !

Posted by: curtis1112 | September 21, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight, the driver drove all the way home with a bike stuck under their SUV? I would imagine that wouldn't sound to much like a deer stuck under your vehicle. This person should be immediately arrested. What kind of cop would actually believe that story?

I hope Natasha gets some sort of justice.

This is very sad news.

Posted by: MrPlutocrat | September 21, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight, the driver drove all the way home with a bike stuck under their SUV? I would imagine that wouldn't sound to much like a deer stuck under your vehicle. This person should be immediately arrested. What kind of cop would actually believe that story?

I hope Natasha gets some sort of justice.

This is very sad news.

Posted by: MrPlutocrat | September 21, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

As a really close friend and relative to both families, I urge everyone to be repsectful to both families and have a little heart. Yes, it has been a tremendous amount of stress on all of us close to the families, but to read comments and posts coming from individuals on here is heartbreaking. Please be mindful that the Pettigrew family is not the only family hurting right now. I ask each one of you to keep both families in your prayers while we all go through these difficult times.

Posted by: jmb298 | September 21, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

While it is very dark still at 5:30am here you would think that the cyclist would have appeared in the headlights, even momentarily. Certainly such an experienced rider would've worn reflective gear. For the bike to get caught under the SUV she must've hit her in the rear wheel or it would've tossed it to the side. The article doesn't say if the driver was tested for alcohol or drugs but I hope she didn't go home to let it wear off before calling the police.

Posted by: jcaroleclarke | September 21, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

rpcv84's post needs to be removed and his Post membership banned. It's amazing what people will say when they are anonymous and can't pay the price for the vileness of their words if people knew who they were.

Posted by: Brianguy | September 21, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

The driver’s story is unbelievable , for me that saw the extensive damage on the Escallede when it was being hauled away on route 202 heading south escorted by Maryland police cruiser around 1030am Sunday, ever before the story break on the television. My thoughts were who was on these police chase that crash his or her car. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victim. Driver need to be hold accountable.

Posted by: bonyenemezu | September 21, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

First, my condolences to the family of Natasha Pettigrew.

Second, 202 South is heading towards Upper Marlboro. Was the SUV traveling south or north towards Cheverly?

Posted by: quincysmom | September 21, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

to jmb298: people are free to comment provided they are not disrespectful. You say there is pain in both families. I believe there is a different kind of pain in each family: grief in the family of the deceased and fear in the Escalade lady's family:fear that her story will not hold. Her story does sound fishy, does it not? Had she reported the collision immediately, Natasha might have lived. What time did respectively the police and then the ambulance get to Natasha?

Posted by: gvbgvb | September 21, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully the police won't call it an accident and leave it at that. It happens far too often in accidents involving cyclists. The default presumption on the part of the police seem to be that the cyclist was at fault. One should be able to expect a full investigation and the leveling of charges against the driver in a case like this.

Posted by: Eric_in_Baltimore | September 21, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

One less hippie.

Posted by: FridayKnight | September 21, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know what time O'Malley runs? Doesn't matter he'll be out of office in 2 months anyway.

Posted by: madmax8600 | September 21, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

they were drunk that is why they drove off waited 4 hours before calling the police. I hope this liar gets arrested and made to pay for killing this woman she will pay one way or the other God will see to that.

Posted by: mysunshine1954 | September 21, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

they were drunk that is why they drove off waited 4 hours before calling the police. I hope this liar gets arrested and made to pay for killing this woman she will pay one way or the other God will see to that.

Posted by: mysunshine1954 | September 21, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

they were drunk that is why they drove off waited 4 hours before calling the police. I hope this liar gets arrested and made to pay for killing this woman she will pay one way or the other God will see to that.

Posted by: mysunshine1954 | September 21, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

they were drunk that is why they drove off waited 4 hours before calling the police. I hope this liar gets arrested and made to pay for killing this woman she will pay one way or the other God will see to that.

Posted by: mysunshine1954 | September 21, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

This is so tragic and sad - and exactly why I don't walk that same route to work, even though I very well could. 202 and Campus Way (as well as Central Avenue and Campus Way) are treacherous intersections for bikers and walkers.

And what on earth was the driver thinking?? Even if they did believe they had just hit a deer, why would you drive all the way to your destination with anything trapped underneath your vehicle? It may have been an honest accident, but the fact that they didn't even stop to figure out what happened makes them unfit to be on the road. Their license should be revoked.

Posted by: Res1 | September 22, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

What happens if she wins?

Posted by: jiji1 | September 22, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I visited the site. I saw the debris and blood on the road. This road is very wide and the shoulder is more than a wide car's width. There is absolutely NO WAY someone would think that they hit a deer on that road. NO WAY!! Once you leave PG Community College you make a right turn at the light of Campus Way onto Rt 202 South. The Fire Station is directly across the street from you. Where Natasha was found was several hundred feet from that corner of 202 and Campus Way. Natasha may have been dragged all that way. But at 5:30am the street is clear albeit somewhat dark (there are street lights there). There is a 24/7 Fire Station that could have helped. There's a 24hr gas station. There were not many cars and there are two full lanes and a full shoulder. Natasha WAS wearing reflective gear. Her sneakers and her bike had reflective materials on them. This was a fatal accident by some irresponsible driver dangerously operating a SUV. The driver needs to own up and let Natasha's family hear and understand the truth. This will help bring closure.

THERE IS A CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL SET FOR THIS FRIDAY AT 6:00PM at the location of the accident (Rt 202 & Campus Way). Please attend and show your support.

Posted by: john_clendenin | September 22, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Christy R. Littleford
12802 REDGRAVE DR
UPPER MARLBORO MD 20774-5663

Posted by: uuu3 | September 22, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

So much of this case is so... typical... for hit/run bike crashes...
- Police IMMEDIATELY start blaming the cyclist
- Police make excuses for the motorist
- Sloppy investigation [shoe left at scene] because... "she thought she hit a deer"
- No charges, or minimal charges...

PUBLIC review of police, and prosecutor, actions are the best way to force a serious look at the facts, and the possible crimes to arise.

Hit/run cases are epidemic right now. If you follow Facebook and Cyclist's Against Reckless Drivers, or my Bike Lawyer page, we are printing several stories from around the country every single day...

My deep condolences to Natasha's family...

Steve Magas

Posted by: bikelawyer | September 22, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

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