Alexandria, VA

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.”

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The intersection of N. Jordan and Duke Street, near the Foxchase shopping center, is closed due to a serious pedestrian crash.

“A pedestrian was struck,” said Alexandria Police spokesman Lt. Courtney Ballantine. “It’s serious enough that they’ve called in the reconstruction team.”

Ballantine said the person struck was an adult male. On social media, police urged drivers to avoid the area.

Via social media, a witness reported that the man was bleeding from the head after being struck.

The incident comes just three days after another pedestrian was struck at Duke Street and Diagonal Road and a month after Alexandria artist Alfredo DaSilva was killed while crossing Duke Street at an intersection not far from today’s scene. Earlier this week a driver was charged with a deadly pedestrian crash on Duke Street in November.

A petition to reduce the speed limit on a portion of Duke Street east of Jordan Street from 35 to 25 mph has garnered just over 100 signatures.

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A man was struck and injured this afternoon on Duke Street by a driver in a Volkswagen Beetle.

The collision happened shortly before 1 p.m. today at the intersection of Duke Street and Diagonal Road, near the train station and the Motley Fool building.

An adult male victim suffered minor injuries and was transported to Inova Alexandria Hospital, according to police spokesman Lt. Courtney Ballantine. The driver was cited for the crash, Ballantine said.

Photos from the scene show the car stopped in the crosswalk in the intersection. There was no visible damage to the vehicle.

Diagonal Road and a portion of Duke Street was closed for a period of time immediately following the crash.

Duke Street has been the scene of a number of notable pedestrian-involved crashes over the past few months.

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A grand jury has indicted Kenneth Whitcomb, a 62-year-old Alexandria resident, on a charge of reckless driving following a deadly pedestrian collision last November.

John Charles Thompson, a 75-year old Fairfax resident and retired Army general, was struck on Nov. 16 on Duke Street near the Alexandria Commons shopping center around 7:30 a.m. Police said that Thompson was in a crosswalk at the time of the crash.

“Mr. Thompson was walking across Duke Street when he was struck by a vehicle operated by Mr. Whitcomb,” Commonwealth Attorney Bryan Porter said in a press release. “Mr. Thompson was hospitalized after the crash and succumbed to his injuries.”

Porter said reckless driving, a class 1 misdemeanor and the most serious charge that could be lodged in the case, is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a $2500 fine, as well as a license suspension of not more than 6 months. Whitcomb is also charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian, punishable by a fine of not more than $500.

“The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation, his driver’s license was valid, and he was not under the influence of intoxicants,” Porter said. “Therefore, the appropriate charge is reckless driving.”

Maj. Gen. John Charles Thompson (ret.) was a West Point graduate and a 35-year Army veteran, recognized for valor in Vietnam, according to an obituary.

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A 22-year-old man is in critical condition after being struck by a driver on North Van Dorn Street last night.

The crash happened near the intersection with Taney Avenue around 6:15 p.m. Police say the victim was rushed to the local hospital, while the driver remained on scene.

APD is investigating the crash and asking any witnesses to step forward. More from a press release:

The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a traffic crash that occurred on Wednesday, February 12, in the vicinity of North Van Dorn Street and Taney Avenue.

At approximately 6:15 p.m., police responded to the area for a pedestrian struck in the intersection of North Van Dorn Street and Taney Avenue. Initial investigation indicates Mr. Erick Berrios Revello, a 22-year-old Bolivian resident, was crossing North Van Dorn Street when he was struck by a motor vehicle. Mr. Berrios Revello is in critical condition from his injuries at a local hospital. The driver of the vehicle remained on the scene.

Members of the Crash Reconstruction Team and Criminal Investigations Section are investigating the crash. The investigation is ongoing. Alexandria Police ask that witnesses with information regarding this incident contact Officer Charles Gardiner at 703.408.6375.

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Morning Notes

Pedestrian Struck on Patrick Street — APD responded yesterday around 4 p.m. to a pedestrian reportedly struck on N. Patrick Street at Madison Street. The road was blocked temporarily. The pedestrian was taken to a local hospital; the nature of his or her injuries is not currently known. [Twitter]

Remembering a Local Legend — “Many African Americans in Alexandria, Virginia, fondly remember Phillip Bell by his nickname ‘Chick.’ He owned Lewis Funeral Home at 311 North Patrick Street. Phillip ran a professional funeral business for many years on Wolfe and Patrick Streets.” [Gazette Packet]

T.C. Student Attends SOTU — “Nicole Rosario-Flores, a Junior ROTC member at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, was invited by Sen. Tim Kaine to be a guest at the State of the Union. News4’s Drew Wilder spoke to Rosario-Flores about the honor.” [NBC 4, Patch]

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(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) The vehicle that struck and killed 89-year-old artist Alfredo DaSilva on Duke Street on Sunday morning, Jan. 26, was a Carpenter’s Shelter shuttle van, ALXnow has learned.

DaSilva was hit by the shelter’s daily shuttle van after it dropped off guests of its winter and day programs. Carpenter’s Shelter is located at Landmark Mall, in the former Macy’s department store, about a mile from the scene of the crash.

The incident occurred just before 8 a.m. as DaSilva crossed Duke Street at the intersection of Cameron Station Blvd.

Carpenter’s Shelter released the following statement to ALXnow:

Carpenter’s Shelter operates a daily shuttle which serves the guests of our Winter Shelter and David’s Place programs. We have been informed that — after all guests had been transported on Sunday morning January 26, 2020 — the shuttle vehicle was involved in a serious accident in the City of Alexandria. As of now, we have been given no further details pending the outcome of the investigation currently underway by law enforcement authorities.  We are and will continue cooperating fully with law enforcement throughout the duration of the investigation. We are deeply concerned for all involved, and will communicate further details to the Carpenter’s Shelter community as soon as they are available.

The driver of the vehicle is a Carpenter’s Shelter staff member. The driver called the police, stayed at the scene after the incident and was released without charges.

Map and photo via Google Maps

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On Thursday morning, William Tate waited for the pedestrian signal before crossing at the intersection of Duke and S. Pickett Street. Traffic wasn’t too heavy, but Tate still waited for a few minutes and sipped his coffee until the light told him it was safe.

“The biggest problem I see on Duke Street is that people just cut across on foot wearing dark clothing, and they get clipped,” Tate told ALXnow. “Sometimes I’ll see people just running across where there aren’t crosswalks and drivers don’t pay attention. You’ve got to pay attention.”

The wide roadway and long waits for walk signals don’t help matters, however.

Four days earlier, on the morning of Sunday, Jan. 26, 89-year-old Alexandria artist Alfredo DaSilva was killed while crossing Duke Street at the intersection with Cameron Station Blvd. Few details regarding the incident are known, and the driver, who called police and stayed at the scene, was interviewed and released. The incident remains under investigation.

There have been three pedestrian fatalities on Duke Street since the fall of 2018, one of which happened this past November. At around 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 16, 2019, John Thompson, a 77-year-old Fairfax County man, was killed crossing Duke Street at Sweeley Street, near the Alexandria Commons Shopping Center. A year before that incident, on Nov. 18, 2018, Nelson Javier Galdamez Reyes, 52, was fatally injured on the ramp from Duke Street to southbound I-395.

Most Alexandria streets are limited to 25 miles per hour, and a new online petition asking for support for a speed reduction to 25 mph, west of Quaker Lane and east of Jordan Street, has received more than 100 signatures.

The city considers Duke Street a “high crash corridor” and is one of the few Alexandria roadways with a speed limit of 35 mph. Last year, the speed limit for a portion of U.S. Route 1 between Four Mile Road and Slater’s Lane, which is another high crash corridor, was reduced from 35 mph to 25 mph.

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An 89-year-old Alexandria artist was killed Sunday after being struck by a vehicle while walking across the Duke Street near Cameron Station Blvd.

Police were notified of the incident at 7:52 a.m. Alfredo DaSilva was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The driver of the car that struck him stayed at the scene, was interviewed by police and has not been charged.

“Initial investigation indicates Mr. Alfredo DaSilva, a 89-year-old Alexandria city resident, was crossing Duke Street when he was struck by a motor vehicle,” Alexandria police said in a statement. Mr. DaSilva succumbed to his injuries at the scene.”

Members of APD’s Crash Reconstruction Team are investigating the crash.

DaSilva, a highly accomplished artist who was born in Bolivia on Feb. 20, 1935, held one of his last public discussions of his work to a writer’s group at the Charles Houston Recreation Center in 2017.

DaSilva’s career as a painter took off after he won the top prize from the Salon Nacional de Pintura of Buenos Aires in 1959. His career took him to Washington, D.C., where he conducted a one-an show at the Pan American Union, followed by a Guggenheim fellowship in New York City in the early 1960s. His later career was marked by further awards for his work, including the grand prize at the II Biennale of Bolivia INBO in 1977.

Police are asking that anyone who saw the crash contact Officer Jessica Johnson at 703-405-2787.

Map via Google Maps

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A man remained hospitalized with serious, though non-life threatening, injuries after a crash on Yoakum Parkway yesterday, according to police.

The 300 block of Yoakum Parkway was closed in both directions around 5 p.m. yesterday (Monday), up to Stevenson Avenue, police tweeted. An adult male pedestrian was struck by a vehicle, police spokesman Lt. Courtney Ballantine told ALXnow, with serious but life-threatening injuries that left him hospitalized.

Yoakum Parkway is a popular thoroughfare near Landmark Mall, connecting several residential communities to Edsall Road and the Beltway.

Ballantine said the crash is still being investigated by the police department’s crash team because of the seriousness of the incident.

Photo via Google Maps

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