Police: Dump truck driver not using cell in fatal accident

ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA9) -- Arlington County Police Chief Douglas Scott said Thursday that the driver of the dump truck that struck 39-year-old mother of three, Jennifer Lawson on February 24th was not speeding, nor was he using Little Falls Road as a cut-through.

Chief Scott also said a forensic review of the driver's cell phone shows he was not texting or talking on it at the time of the accident.

These new details came to light at a community meeting at Nottingham Elementary School. More than 75 neighbors, friends, people who live in the area, members of the police department and members of the Williamsburg Civic Association packed into a room to talk about solutions to the traffic problems they say are plaguing their streets. Many say the stretch of Little Falls Road in front of Nottingham Elementary School is dangerous, and they want the county to act.

Susan Levy was a friend of Jennifer Lawson, and also a mom of three. She spoke at the meeting, "It was devastating to see this happen to somebody that I knew, It could have been any of us."

Levy's sentiment was shared by many. They say the streets are too narrow, and people drive too fast. Neighbor Meghan Thomas, also a mom of three suggests one lane of parking could be eliminated on Little Falls Road by the school, "I think there are simple cheap solutions for the county to make a change."

Ruth Shearer heads the Williamsburg Civic Association, and says she's seen an outpouring of passion, energy, and activism since Lawson's death, "People see this tragedy and they see how a family was irreparably torn apart and they see themselves, this could have been them, this could have been their spouse, this could have been their parent, or God forbid this could have been their child."

Shearer says the answer is not just one thing, she's begging the county to look into a combination of options including: speed reduction, stop signs/lights, crosswalks, speed bumps/mobile, speed indicators, drop-off/pick up patterns & configurations, traffic circles, one way streets/use restrictions, and parking/bus stops.


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