Police Investigate Critical Vehicle Crash into Restaurant (UPDATE)

Published on August 13, 2022

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UPDATE (10/19/22) – The comprehensive investigation, which included an extensive review of evidence, supported the conclusion the driver experienced a medical emergency prior to the crash. Following consultation with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, criminal charges will not be sought against the driver.

UPDATE (9/15/22) – All patients have been released from the hospital. While this remains an active investigation, the investigation at this point indicates the driver likely experienced a medical emergency prior to the crash.

Detectives continue to encourage anyone with information related to this incident to contact Detective K. Stahl at kstahl@arlingtonva.us or 703-228-7145. Information may also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.

UPDATE (8/15/22) - The Arlington County Police Department continues to investigate the cause of Friday’s crash. Based on the preliminary investigation, detectives do not believe the crash was an intentional act and alcohol has been ruled out as a contributing factor. The driver of the vehicle is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

Three patients remain hospitalized. One is in critical condition and two are in stable condition.

Detectives continue to encourage anyone with information related to this investigation to contact Detective K. Stahl at kstahl@arlingtonva.us or 703-228-7145. Information may also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a single vehicle crash into an occupied restaurant in the Courthouse neighborhood.

At approximately 6:45 p.m. on August 12, police and fire were dispatched to the 2000 block of Wilson Boulevard for the report of a vehicle into a restaurant. Upon arrival, officers immediately began evacuating patrons from the building, assessing their injuries and providing emergency medical care. Shortly after the crash, the vehicle caught fire causing a structure fire within the restaurant. The fire was quickly extinguished by the Arlington County Fire Department.

Numerous injuries were reported on scene and medics from multiple agencies began evaluating and treating patients. Nine patients were transported to area hospitals. Two remain in critical condition, one is in serious but stable condition and six were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Additionally, six patients were treated and released on scene. Building engineers evaluated the restaurant and determined it was structurally sound but could not currently be reoccupied.

The preliminary investigation indicates the driver of the vehicle, who was operating 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 into the restaurant. The driver and passenger were among those transported to area hospitals and both sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The cause of the crash remains under active investigation and detectives continue to review evidence and speak with witnesses to determine the events that preceded the crash.

“Undoubtedly, the decisive actions of the arriving officers to run directly into the building and remove patrons saved lives,” said Police Chief Andy Penn. “During 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 police services 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 such as these, we see the very best of our community. In addition to first responders, I commend the many witnesses and bystanders who sprang into action to assist those in need.”

“I am extremely proud of the response by 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 is exactly what they encountered while arriving on scene. Through their direct actions, lives were saved. This incident tested our response system, requiring significant support from our mutual aid partners. Incidents such as this reinforce that the Arlington County Fire Department is well prepared and that the relationship with our public safety partners remains strong. I applaud those who selflessly rendered care and evacuated patients to safety in what was extremely chaotic circumstances. The heroism of the first responders and bystanders who ran directly into danger to help is to be commended. Our hearts and thoughts remain with our community as they recover from this tragic event.”

On scene assistance was provided by the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office, Alexandria Fire Department, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall Fire Department.

Anyone with information that may assist the ongoing investigation is asked to contact Detective K. Stahl at kstahl@arlingtonva.us or 703-228-7145. Information may also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.  

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