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Officials Seek Intersection Safety Review after MPD Detective Strikes Pedestrian

A Georgetown woman and her dog were hit by an unmarked police vehicle Oct. 5 while crossing Wisconsin Avenue.

In response to a that sent a Georgetown woman to the hospital, local advisory neighborhood commission officials are calling on DDOT and other District officials to examine the safety of the cross walk on the 2100 block of Wisconsin Avenue.

According to the traffic crash report, a 30-year-old woman was using the crosswalk at 35th Street and Wisconsin Avenue at about 9:15 p.m. Oct. 5 when she and her dog were both hit by a car.

MPD Detective Samuel McGee, 43, was driving the blue 2008 Chevrolet Impala northbound on Wisconsin Avenue when he struck the victim and her dog as they used the crosswalk, moving from the east side of Wisconsin Avenue toward the west side.

The report describes the crash as a "straight on pedestrian" collision and the victim's injuries as "non-disabling." She was transported to George Washington University hospital by a medic unit.

Initial reports from the scene indicated that the vehicle was an unmarked police car and the crash report supports those statements, listing the "owner" address as 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, which is the address for the Council of the District of Columbia.

According to Department of Motor Vehicles, the vehicle has three outstanding tickets for moving violations:

Ticket Number Issue Date Violation Location Amount M006363598 07/28/2009 SPEED 16-20 OVR LIMT 200 BLK. M ST. SE E/B $100.00 M006443023 08/04/2009 SPEED 11-15 OVR LIMT 800 BLK EASTERN AVENUE NE (W/B) $50.00 R012102315 09/24/2009 SIGNAL PASS RED LITE MT OLIVET E/B @ W VIRGINIA AVE NE $75.00

The day after this crash, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) Ed Solomon sent a note to District officials requesting a review of the safety conditions at the intersection.

He wrote:

This part of Wisconsin is a dangerous area to cross even with a properly stripped crosswalk. Traffic approaches this crosswalk at speed. Lighting and proper signage needs evaluation. I would like DDOT to evaluate this intersection and make recommendations on Safety improvement.

Solomon suggested making 35th Street a two-way street between Whitehave Parkway and Wisconsin Avenue and installing a traffic light at the intersection.

In the neighboring ANC, Commissioner Jackie Blumenthal told neighbors on the Glover Park listserv that ANC3B would be requesting a report on the incident from MPD at the upcoming Oct. 12 meeting.

Blumenthal received an email from MPD officials assuring her that the incident is being investigated.

According to Commander Reese, members from the Second District, where the incident took place, did not conduct the investigation, rather it was conducted by MPD's Major Crash Unit. He was unable to share much additional information, "the only information that can be shared is information that will not comprise the conduct of this ongoing investigation."

As the investigation into the crash continues, ANC representatives will push to have their safety concerns addressed.

"I would hope that this accident would result in a comprehensive review on the safety concerns that this community has about this section of Wisconsin Avenue," wrote Solomon.

David Clark October 11, 2011 at 02:29 PM
35th Street exists in a residential area and therefore cars driving "at speed" are breaking the law. It is especially vexing that anyone would be speeding north at the intersection of 35th Street and Whitehaven, as it is a dead end, with a stop sign, and no where to travel except right or left. And it is a School Zone, as Hardy Middle is on the right. The solution is to properly police the area to prevent lawbreakers from ignoring the stop sign and endangering others. Although better lighting at the intersection of Whitehaven and 35th Street would be helpful, so that night drivers are aware of the stop sign and the crosswalk.
Betsy Emes October 11, 2011 at 02:33 PM
This isn't the only dangerous intersection. I feel like I take my life in my hands every time I cross Wisconsin Avenue and M Street. Cars and trucks are constantly running red lights and speeding through to do so. Bikers don't stop for red lights or stop signs. Twice yesterday I was almost clipped by a bike as I stepped off the curb (I had the green light). If the police are too busy dealing with "real criminals" to issue tickets for violations, what about installing cameras at intersections?
Shaun Courtney (Editor) October 11, 2011 at 03:14 PM
I can only imagine how many tickets D.C. would issue for Wisconsin Ave. and M St., Betsy!
Betsy Emes October 11, 2011 at 03:19 PM
Wouldn't that be great - and then maybe some of the violations would stop - I didn't even go into the cell phone problem.

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