Alexandria, VA

A 52-year-old Alexandria man has been charged with driving while intoxicated in a crash on Jan. 5 that put a 59-year-old man in critical condition.

“The victim was transported to an area hospital, where he lost both legs as a result of the crash,” Alexandria Police reported. “He remains in critical but stable condition.”

Catalin Filipeanu was charged with maiming of another resulting from driving while intoxicated for allegedly pinning the victim against another car. It occurred in the parking lot of the Safeway at 299 S. Van Dorn Street in the Van Dorn Plaza shopping center

Filipeanu stayed at the scene until police arrived. The incident remains under investigation by the Alexandria Police Department Crash Reconstruction Team. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact investigator Jordan Young at 571-414-8975.

The last reported pedestrian fatality was in November in Old Town, and was preceded October when a 43-year-old man was killed after being struck by a vehicle in the 2500 block of N. Van Dorn Street. In February 2020, there were also incidents in the West End on Duke Street, near the King Street-Old Town Metro station and a fatality at the intersection of Duke Street and Cameron Station Blvd.

There were also two incidents in 2020 of pedestrians in Alexandria who lost limbs after being struck by cars.

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A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle in the parking lot of the Safeway at 299 S. Van Dorn Street and is in serious condition, according to Alexandria Police.

The incident was reported at 2:54 p.m. by police via Twitter, and involved multiple cars.

The Safeway is in the Van Dorn Plaza shopping center.

The last reported pedestrian fatality was in November in Old Town, and was preceded in February by incidents in the West End on Duke Street, near the King Street-Old Town Metro station and a fatality at the intersection of Duke Street and Cameron Station Blvd.

Map via Google Maps

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Police announced yesterday that local resident Justin Benedict (55) had died as a result of injuries from a vehicle crash in Old Town on Friday.

“The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a vehicle crash that occurred on Friday, November 20, 2020, at S. Washington Street and Wilkes Street,” Alexandria police said in a press release. “At approximately 4 p.m., police responded to a crash involving a vehicle and a pedestrian.”

Police said the driver remained on the scene and Benedict was brought to a local hospital where he died.

“Members of the Crash Reconstruction Team are investigating the crash,” police said. “Witnesses to this crash or anyone with video footage are asked to contact Officer Nancy Gordon at 571.289.6794.”

Photo via Google Maps

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What an intense week in Alexandria.

Our top story was on the massive power outages that affected tens of thousands of residents on Friday, October 23. Without providing specifics, Dominion Energy told City Council this week that outages in Alexandria and Arlington were “unique,” and caused by a piece of equipment that failed at its Glebe Road substation. City Councilors responded that there have been at least eight outages since May.

Monday started with news that an Alexandria Police officer was shot in Old Town and that the 27-year-old suspect was found shot to death near a construction site.

Police were called to the Holiday Inn & Suites in Old Town North after reports that shots were fired in the lobby of the hotel. Police chased two suspects on foot and a shootout ensued. The officer was shot in the lower body and was later released, and the other suspect later turned himself in to police.

On the coronavirus front, there are now 74 deaths in Alexandria and there are now or have been more than 4,200 cases since the pandemic began in March. Latino residents continue to lead the case count. This week the Alexandria Health Department reported that majority of recent coronavirus cases in Alexandria might be the result of contacts at home, indoor gatherings and eating out.

Restaurant-wise, we reported the soft opening of a new chicken joint in North Old Town.

Additionally, the Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies art installation at Waterfront Park will be taken down next month at Waterfront Park, and the installation will temporarily be moved outside of Old Town Pool (1609 Cameron Street).

We also reported that more than 50% of Alexandria voters have already cast their ballots.

Additionally, more than 240 people participated in our weekly poll. With Halloween on Saturday, this week we asked about trick-or-treating plans, and 38% of respondents are not celebrating Halloween this year, 31% are not trick-or-treating but have other plans, 17% plan to trick-or-treat with modifications, and 14% plan to trick-or-treat as usual.

Here are ALXnow’s top stories of the week in Alexandria:

  1. BREAKING: Massive Power Outage Reported in Alexandria
  2. BREAKING: Virginia State Police Seek Alexandria Man After Police Shootout
  3. School Board Shelves Plan to Reopen Schools in 2021, Students with Disabilities Transitioning Back Next Month
  4. Republican Jeff Jordan Running Uphill Battle Against Incumbent Rep. Don Beyer
  5. Here’s Where Alexandria Residents Might be Getting COVID-19
  6. BREAKING: Shooting Suspect In Custody, Police Announce
  7. Police: Man Killed in Car Crash on N. Van Dorn Street
  8. Identity Released of Old Town North Suspect Killed in Shootout
  9. Police: Shots Fired in Braddock Area on Monday Night
  10. The Chewish Deli Opens New Location in Old Town
  11. Police Assist Man With Psychotic Episode in West End

Happy Halloween!

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A dog suffered minor injuries after being hit by a car that then crashed into a parked car at the 7-Eleven at 3412 Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray on Wednesday night, October 14.

The dog had a cut above her right eye and swelling on her back and side. The dog and her owner were out walking when the accident occurred.

The accident occurred at around 11 p.m. The driver of an older model Honda Accord was parked facing the intersection of Mount Vernon Avenue and Glebe Road, and then popped the parking barrier, drove into Mount Vernon Avenue, circled around and then hit a parked car at full speed. Airbags in both cars were deployed.

“I could have died at a 7-Eleven,” a witness said. “I was just standing there. He must have been going 20, 30 miles per hour.”

The driver of the car was not injured and told ALXnow that his breaks malfunctioned. He told police through a translator that he’d only owned the car a short amount of time.

Map via Google Maps

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A 56-year-old man died after a crash in Old Town North on Tuesday, according to Alexandria Police.

Meigs Hodge died after being transported to the hospital, police reported on social media. Police did not say which car he was driving.

Hodge, a 1982 T.C. Williams High School graduate, was a musician and owned a landscape company in Alexandria for more than a decade. According to his LinkedIn page, his career included managing payroll for the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, managing payroll for Octagon and managing human resources for RedPeg Marketing before launching his landscaping business in 2009.

The crash shut down N. Washington Street for a number of hours on Tuesday afternoon.

The crash reconstruction team are investigating the incident, and are asking that anyone with video or information regarding the crash to contact APD Officer Nancy Gordon at 571-289-6794.

The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a vehicle crash that occurred on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, in the…

Posted by Police Department, City of Alexandria, Virginia on Wednesday, September 30, 2020

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(Updated at 1:30 p.m.) Alexandria Police are advising drivers to avoid the area of North Washington Street between Montgomery Street and First Street due to a car crash.

At least one driver is in the hospital with serious injuries, according to police.

The crash reconstruction team is on-site and the road will likely be closed “for a while,” police spokesman Lt. Courtney Ballantine told ALXnow.

The busy roadway in the middle of Old Town bisects two stretches of the George Washington Memorial Parkway between Mount Vernon and Washington, D.C.

“Please avoid the area and watch for police direction,” Police said on social media. “Expect police and fire personnel in the area.”

Map via Google Maps

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It’s the end of a busy week in Alexandria!

Our top story was the Del Ray car crash on Mount Vernon Avenue, and there’s some good news to report. The driver, who crashed her car due to a medical emergency, was sent home without any injuries the following day.

The city also experienced flooding after Thursday’s rainstorms, prompting the City Council to get an oral report on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stormwater management improvements. As reported, there have been more than a half dozen flood events in Alexandria this summer.

Council also received a report on the establishment of a community police review board, and sent it back for some additions. Namely, Council asked staff to include an option that would give the review board independent investigative authority, an action that prompted a police union to call the idea of the review board “superfluous.” Incidentally, crime stories are among the top articles read every week on ALXnow.

This was also the first week of the historic 2020-2021 school year, and with classes starting virtually it will be an altogether different experience than years past.

What stories impacted you this week? Let us know in the comments.

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria.

  1. Driver Suffers Life Threatening Injuries in Del Ray Car Crash
  2. UPDATED: Flooding Reported in Parts of City After Heavy Rain
  3. Planning Commission Approves Density Compromise Despite Outrage from Civic Associations
  4. Video: Protestors Perform ‘Die-In’ Outside Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf’s Alexandria Home
  5. Arrest Made After Shots Fired in Old Town
  6. Police Investigating Public Indecency Incidents in Del Ray
  7. Police: Three Alexandria ABC Stores Broken Into, High-End Liquor Stolen
  8. Council to Vote on Requiring Face Masks in Alexandria
  9. Just Listed in Alexandria
  10. Hundreds in ‘Trumptilla’ Boat Parade Sail Past Alexandria
  11. Alexandria Woman Uninjured in Tuesday Carjacking at Gunpoint in Potomac Yard

Have a safe weekend!

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(Updated at 4 p.m. on September 11) The driver experienced a medical emergency and was sent home the following morning after the crash without any injuries, according to police.

The driver of a red Toyota SUV suffered life threatening injuries in after crashing into parked cars on Mount Vernon Avenue between E. Windsor and E. Howell Avenues in Del Ray.

No one else was injured in the accident, which flipped over the red Toyota. The driver, who has not been identified, was transported to the hospital, according to Alexandria Police spokesman Lt. Courtney Ballantine.

The Crash Reconstruction Team is investigating the crash and will release information on the cause within 48 hours, Ballantine said.

DASH buses have stopped running northbound at Windsor Avenue and southbound at Custis Avenue.

The accident occurred across the street from Evening Star Cafe and a number of other local businesses.

Courtesy Photo/ Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

City Official Dies in Car Crash — “The City of Alexandria is devastated by the loss of Robert Bloom, Public Safety Systems Administrator in the Department of Emergency and Customer Communications (DECC), in a vehicle crash on the morning of July 20, 2020.” [City of Alexandria]

Alexandria Man Dies in D.C. Shooting — “Homicide detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department are investigating the fatal shooting of an Alexandria man that occurred Sunday night in the Shipley area of the city, according to a police release… MPD identified the decedent as Rayfone Gassaway, 37, of Alexandria, Virginia.” [Patch]

COVID-19 Cases Jump by 23 in Alexandria — “Positive tests up 23 to 2,582 in the City… Still safer at home, wash hands, wear masks and support our essential workers.” [Twitter]

Beyer Calls Out Trump Directive to Census Bureau — “A clear violation of the United States Constitution, which spells out in the 14th Amendment that ‘Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States.. counting the whole number of persons in each State..'” [Twitter]

National Coin Shortage Hits Alexandria — “At Alexandria stores like The Home Depot in West End Village and dozens of grocery and other retailers, customers are starting to see signs at checkout (like the one below) pleading with them to use a credit or debit card, or use exact change.” [Alexandria Living]

New Job: Youth Soccer Coach — “Prior soccer experience is not required. We only require the passion for positively impacting children’s lives through the love of sports and fitness. Valid driver’s license and access to personal vehicle Must be at least 18 years of age.” [Indeed]

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