Witnesses say an officer driving a Metropolitan Police Department SUV crashed into a person near the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and L Street NW shortly before 2 p.m. Monday. According to D.C.’s Fire and EMS department, two people have been transported to the hospital, one with critical injuries. The identities of the people involved are still unknown.
UPDATE: Cyclist struck: Connecticut Ave & L St NW. 2 pts transported. 1 w/critical injuries; he other serious but non-life threatening
— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) October 12, 2015
Margarita Noriega, an editor for Vox, says the crash happened “right in front of [her],” while she was waiting outside for a phone call from a friend. “The body just flew into the air like a doll,” Noriega says. “After the body hit the ground, it was quite shifted and crumbled. It wasn’t moving.” Noriega adds that a second police SUV showed up shortly after the incident, parking in the middle of the intersection to help block traffic. “The driver [of the first SUV] appeared to be moving their head,” she explains, recalling the “chaos” of the scene. “The driver might be as harmed or more harmed than the cyclist.”
A DC police car ran over a person in the pedestrian walkway in Connecticut Ave and L NW pic.twitter.com/HIt54RctFy
— Margarita Noriega (@margarita) October 12, 2015
A MPD van struck a cyclist at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and L Street NW, then ran into the median pic.twitter.com/DwLgNR0eHq— Harrison Jones (@h_jonesphoto) October 12, 2015
An MPD spokesperson said “preliminary information” suggested that MPD was involved in the crash. The call reporting the incident arrived around 1:44 p.m., she said, adding that police were blocking all southbound traffic along Connecticut Avenue NW.
David Kidd says he was also in the area following the crash. Although he didn’t see it happen in real time, Kidd says an “older man” appeared to have fallen off a bicycle next to the first police SUV, which had run into a divider along the avenue. “He was moving his head trying to communicate,” Kidd explains. “I left before they had stabilized him.”
Update 5 p.m.: Despite initial information from D.C. FEMS, an MPD spokesperson confirms that the driver of the MPD vehicle in fact struck a pedestrian, not a cyclist. Requests for comment from FEMS have not been returned.
Photo courtesy of Margarita Noriega