Shortly before 8:45 this morning, Susana Ricca walked out of the Jurys Hotel in Dupont Circle in search of a bagel. She didn’t make it to Firehook Bakery, less than a block away.
Just as she made it to the sidewalk across Q Street, Ricca heard a loud crunching bang to her left and caught the blur of a black Mercedes Benz careening her way. Ricca leaped a knee-high steel fence and landed in a street garden.
Good thing, too. The Benz took out the fence and landed halfway in the garden with Ricca. An Argentinean tourist who was in town with her husband and a daughter, Ricca escaped without a bruise.
An hour after the crash, a tow truck was still trying to yank the Benz from the garden as Charita Roberts watched, speeding ticket in hand. It was the cab driver’s fault, she said. The cabbie was driving down Q Street when Roberts says she stopped at the intersection at 19th Street and pulled out. The cabbie struck her in the front fender, sending the C280 across the sidewalk. She thought the cab should have stopped for the pedestrians at the crosswalk.
For her part, Ricca, a sprightly women a few years past middle age, seemed still in shock. “She’s lucky she’s not dead,” said a beautician from Diego’s Hair Salon, who caught the accident in a series of mirrors inside the shop.
Standing on the sidewalk with her family, Ricca was now on the way to the Smithsonian after resting back at the hotel.
“She’s always praying,” her daughter said. “She’s very Catholic. She’s very lucky in every sense.”