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Driver trying to pick up food, drink they spilled loses control of vehicle and hits group of people in parking lot, police say

Investigators believe the driver dropped food and spilled a drink inside her car and was trying to pick up what she dropped when she lost control of the vehicle.

ANNANDALE, Va. — A driver in Annandale hit four pedestrians with their car late Friday morning, Fairfax County Police said. Six people, including the driver of the car and a passenger, were taken to the hospital for treatment.

The crash happened in the 7200 block of Maple Place when the driver of a car swerved off the road and hit four people on a sidewalk, according to police. One of the pedestrians is currently struggling with life-threatening injuries, police said.

Investigators believe the driver dropped food and spilled a drink inside her car and was trying to pick up what she dropped when she lost control of the vehicle. The driver crossed a median before hitting a group of people in a parking lot and driving into a metal fence. Officers say the people were gathered to discuss a community project in the area. 

“Just a loud bang," Paula and Manu Luabun told WUSA9, describing what they heard inside their Annandale clock shop. "We didn’t know what was going on until police got here.”

Surveillance video captured at their store shows a car come to a slow with damage to the front end. Seconds later the driver and passenger get out of the car and run towards the area they drove from.

“I just hope the victim and the people that got that they be okay," the Luabuns said.

Officers say one of the pedestrians, an unidentified woman, was seriously injured and remains in the hospital. The other pedestrians who were injured, the driver and the passenger are expected to survive. 

Investigators do not believe speed or alcohol to be a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.

The stretch of road near where the crash occurred is one the Laubuns said they hear and see a lot of collisions.

“We heard the ambulance almost every single hour. And then we hear accidents in this area almost every single day," Manu Laubun said.

A Fairfax County official said that stretch of road has been in the county’s sight for a while and they recently worked with VDOT to narrow Maple Road from four lanes to two in order to add buffered bike lanes. 

Maple Place was closed after the incident between Annandale Road and Daniels Avenue.

Earlier this week, also in Fairfax, two people died and another person went to the hospital after a wrong-way, head-on crash on Interstate 495 Tuesday night.

A preliminary investigation found that a Mazda was traveling south in the northbound lanes of I-495 when it struck a Buick Encore head-on. The impact caused the Buick to catch on fire, investigators said.

Both drivers died on the scene. Police later identified the driver of the Mazda as Kaan T. Karabekir, 28, of Bethesda, Maryland, and the driver of the Buick was identified as Patrick J.C. Mullins, 32, of Catlett, Virginia. Investigators say Mullins was ejected.  

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