FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — A pedestrian was killed after a crash involving two vehicles in Seven Corners Thursday morning, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. The death is just the latest in a string of deadly encounters between cars and people walking in the area.
Police officers responded to Arlington Boulevard, nearby the Chilcanos RestoBar, around 9:40 a.m. after a report of a two-vehicle crash involving a pedestrian.
The pedestrian, later identified as 62-year-old Albert Sweat, was taken to the hospital to be treated for his injuries sustained in the crash. According to police, Sweat was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The drivers involved in the crash remained at the scene. Police are working to investigate the cause of the collision.
According to a witness, two cars collided off route 613, sending one veering off into a parking lot for The Corner at Seven Corners shopping center. It was there that the Jeta hit Sweat in the parking lot.
The witness, who declined to share his information, claimed their parked vehicle was also hit. The witness told WUSA9 that the adult victim was carried along the windshield before being thrown from the car as it hopped a curb and landed in the flower bed.
The intersection has been notorious for vehicle accidents and troublesome driving for decades.
“I’ve been working about eight months in this immediate area,” Chelsea Hopson whose office is in the plaza where the accident occurred, “I’ve probably seen three or four [accidents]."
Another local, Rochelle, who has lived in the Fairfax and Arlington region for 50+ years, says things seem to be getting worse.
“It doesn’t surprise me, please are driving faster or more carelessly since the COVID pandemic,” she said. “I just sense it.”
According to the Virginia DMV, Pedestrian fatalities increased 12.6% in 2021 compared to 2020, with most happening in urban areas compared to rural. The majority of all crashes occurring not interstates.
DMV data also shows Fairfax County leads in vehicle crashes for the past six years, per capita, however, as the state's more populous county, the fatality rate is lower than in other counties.
As of early July, Fairfax County police shared there were 12 pedestrian deaths from crashes compared to seven last year.
When looking at available 2022 data, a new report from NHTSA shows an even grimmer picture.
In just the first quarter of 2022, only Delaware and Connecticut beat Virginia in fatalities increases, up nearly 72%, D.C. is up more than 60% and Maryland is up nearly 50%. Delaware and Connecticut beat Virginia in fatalities, increasing 71.8%.
With kids heading back to school and workers back in the office AAA reminds drivers and pedestrians that safety goes both ways.
“Looking away from the road when you're driving for just two seconds, doubles your risk of a crash. But some of that same information goes for pedestrians too,” Morgan Dean, Public Affairs officer for AAA Mid-Atlantic told us. “Having that cell phone and looking down at that cell phone means you're not watching what's in front.”
Dean also said some good tips to remember:
- Use the sidewalk when you can
- When it’s not an option, walk facing traffic but continue to be as visible as possible and stay as far to the side of the road as possible.
- When it's a kid waiting for school bus or someone waiting to cross a road. Stay back away from that road in case there is an interaction between vehicles that pushes it up onto the sidewalk.
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