VIENNA, Va. — Vienna community members are asking for safety changes to Blake Lane following the crash that killed two Oakton High School students and left a third critically injured.
Fairfax County Supervisor Dalia Palchik held the first of several meetings with county leaders and state officials to discuss concerns regarding the corridor. Speed was the issue mentioned several times by attendees and police.
"There is still much pain, anger and frustration, that is why we are here tonight," said Palchik, who represents the Providence District. She attended the funerals of both teenagers that died in the June 7 crash at the intersection of Blake Lane and Five Oaks Road.
Some attendees proposing speed bumps or an increase of police officers enforcing the 35 mph speed limit. One resident recommended that unoccupied patrol cars be used to deter fast drivers, but Fairfax County Police said they do not have enough officers or vehicles to meet those requests.
Data provided by Fairfax County police shows that since 2017, Blake Lane has had 114 crashes,12 involving speed and 31 involving young drivers which according to the Department of Motor Vehicles is anyone between 15 to 20-years-old.
Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said in a press conference that speed was a factor in the case of 18-year-old Usman Shahid, the driver indicted on manslaughter charges after the crash involving the three girls.
"I believe that Usman's speed at the first impact, the car that was making a left turn, his speed was 81 miles per hour," Davis said.
Fairfax County Police responded to a crash around 11:45 a.m., involving a white BMW, a green Toyota 4Runner and three pedestrians.
Police claim the driver of the Toyota was heading north on Blake Lane and waiting for three juveniles to cross the street before making a left turn. Once the teens crossed, the driver began turning when the BMW, driving south on Blake Lane, crashed into the front of the Toyota on the driver's side, ricocheted off the road, hit the three pedestrians and a pole before coming to a stop further down the road.
The Virginia Department of Transportation plan to conduct a safety study in the area. Among the recommendations that received the most positive reaction from state officials was the incorporation of roundabouts on Blake Lane.
Supervisor Palchik will be leading an advisory group to implement the changes being discussed, although a specific timeline for these has not been established. Some attendees said that some of the safety updates need to be completed before the start of the 2022-2023 school year.