Posted on August 13, 2022
ARLINGTON, Virginia – The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a single-vehicle accident at a busy restaurant in the courthouse area.
At approximately 6:45 p.m. on August 12, police and firefighters were dispatched to the 2000 block of Wilson Boulevard to report a vehicle at a restaurant. Upon arrival, officers immediately began evacuating patrons from the building, assessing their injuries, and providing emergency medical treatment. Shortly after the accident, the vehicle caught fire causing a structural fire in the restaurant. The fire was quickly extinguished by Arlington County firefighters.
Numerous injuries were reported at the scene and doctors from multiple agencies began to assess and treat patients. Nine patients were transported to area hospitals. Two remain in critical condition, one is in serious but stable condition and six have been treated for non-life-threatening injuries. In addition, six patients were treated and released on the spot. Building engineers assessed the restaurant and determined that it was structurally sound but could not currently be reoccupied.
Preliminary investigation says the driver of the vehicle, who was working as a rideshare driver and had a passenger at the time of the incident, was traveling north on N. Courthouse Road when he left the roadway and crashed in the restaurant. The driver and passenger were among those transported to area hospitals and both suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The cause of the crash is under active investigation and detectives continue to review evidence and speak with witnesses to determine the events leading up to the crash.
“There is no doubt that the decisive actions of the officers who arrived to run straight into the building and evict the patrons saved lives,” Police Chief Andy Penn said. “In a developing emergency incident where seconds count, the men and women of the Arlington County Police Department exemplified their professionalism and unwavering commitment to providing the highest level of policing and I couldn’t be prouder of their response. The coordinated and collaborative response with the Arlington County Fire Department and our mutual aid partners demonstrates the operational readiness of first responders to act quickly during critical incidents to save lives. In tragic events like these, we see the best of our community. In addition to the first responders, I commend the many witnesses and bystanders who stepped in to help those in need. »
“I am extremely proud of the response from the men and women of the Arlington County Fire Department,” said Fire Chief David Povlitz. “Our members are trained to respond to the unthinkable, and that’s exactly what they encountered when they arrived on the scene. Through their direct actions, lives have been saved. This incident put our response to the test, requiring significant support from our mutual aid partners. Incidents like this reinforce that the Arlington County Fire Department is well prepared and the relationship with our public safety partners remains strong. I applaud those who provided selfless care and evacuated patients to safety in extremely chaotic circumstances. The heroism of first responders and bystanders who ran straight into danger to help is to be commended. Our hearts and thoughts remain with our community as they recover from this tragic event.
On-site assistance was provided by the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office, Alexandria Fire Department, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, and Joint Base Myer Fire Department Henderson Hall.
Anyone with information that could help the ongoing investigation is asked to contact Detective K. Stahl at [email protected]lingtonva.us or 703-228-7145. Information may also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.