Sunday, June 2, 2013

Drunk motorist strikes cyclist on W&OD Trail

A drunk motorist who was driving at a high rate of speed on the W&OD Trail struck a bicyclist who was riding on the trail between Reston and Vienna last night at around 8:30 pm. From the Vienna Patch:
The bicyclist struck by an alleged drunk driver Saturday on the W&OD Trail in Vienna is recovering at a local hospital Sunday from several serious injuries.
The victim, a 65-year-old man from the Vienna area, was riding on the trail toward Vienna around 8:30 p.m. Saturday when a 2005 Toyota — allegedly driven by Mehak Chopra, 28, of McLean — struck him from behind.
The man was thrown from his bicycle and landed on the shoulder of the trail, Fairfax County Police Department spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said. He has several serious injuries, but non are life-threatening.
The car had allegedly been traveling on the trail for a few miles before it hit the cyclist. Police now believe the car entered the trail somewhere near the Vienna/Reston area, Caldwell said. It traveled some five miles at a high rate of speed, hitting the cyclist and continuing onto Maple Avenue, where it turned left and attempted to continue driving toward Tysons.
Vienna police — who had received several calls from witnesses reporting they had jumped out of the car's path  — stopped the vehicle on Maple Avenue. The car was damaged, Caldwell said.
Chopra was arrested by Vienna police for driving while intoxicated and taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. There, Fairfax County police charged her with felony hit and run.
Several witnesses wrote to Patch about their experience, which left them rattled, worried about the cyclist and thankful they didn't become victims as well.
Veronica Spina was walking her dog near Church Street when she saw the car "coming very fast."
"At first I thought it was a police car. Then when I saw how fast it was coming and swurving [sic] down the path, I had to jump into the bushes (full of poison ivy) with my little cockapoo to avoid getting hit. It missed me by less than a foot. I feel very lucky to be alive today," she wrote.
Witnesses recalled seeing the car anywhere from Creek Crossing to Mill Street, some of them by themselves but others with several children in tow.
Jeffrey Mosher was on the trail with his two kids and their friend a bit west of Creeks Crossing and walking east toward Vienna.
"The car came up behind us ... doing about 40mph and we jumped into the bushes. The car slipped off the trail onto the gravel and almost went out of control. My daughter was still scared over a half hour later. A very scary sight indeed!" he wrote.
Veronique Klimonda said she and her boyfriend were at the Town Green when the car came down the bike trail and turned left onto Maple Avenue.
"We heard a loud noise and then saw a car barreling down the trail at a high speed. The driver, a young woman, hit an object at the intersection before suddenly turning left and almost causing a crash on Maple. We think she blew a tire just before turning."



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