A bicyclist was injured Sunday morning after being struck by a Fairfax County Police car on Richmond Highway in Hybla Valley.
The crash occurred at the intersection of Fordson Road and was captured by a dashboard camera of a vehicle traveling in the southbound lanes of Route 1. The video, which was shared on Twitter on Sunday, shows the police cruiser stopped at a red light before accelerating to make a right turn out of the Mount Vernon Plaza Shopping Center onto Route 1. The vehicle strikes the cyclist, who was riding north.
After the collision the officer turned on the cruiser’s lights and exited the vehicle to check on the cyclist, who managed to get to his feet after being on the pavement for a few moments. According to the person who posted video of the incident to Twitter, an ambulance arrived shortly and the rider was taken to the hospital.
The police did not initially disclose the crash publicly. On Wednesday, following the publication of this story, the department released a statement that included in-car video from the officer’s car. The police said the bicyclist, 55-year-old Thomas Crawley of Alexandria, was determined to be at fault in the collision and was charged with failure to pay full time and attention.
“The cyclist was riding northbound on the sidewalk of the southbound side of Richmond Highway,” the FCPD’s statement said. “He entered Fordson Road from the sidewalk without stopping and disregarded the pedestrian signal. Our investigation shows the officer had the right of way and determined it was safe to enter the intersection when the cyclist came off the sidewalk and hit the cruiser.”
An administrative investigation is also underway, which is standard procedure according to the FCPD statement.
Crawley was treated for minor injuries at the hospital, the police said.
The crash happened two days before Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler joined county and regional officials to launch a pedestrian and bicycle safety initiative called “Street Smart.” The kickoff event for the campaign was held Tuesday near the intersection of Richmond Highway and Lockheed Boulevard, which is just a few blocks north of where the cyclist was struck.
According to the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments, who helped organize the Street Smart campaign, the number of pedestrian and bicycle deaths in the D.C. area increased by more than 18 percent in 2018, despite an overall decline in traffic fatalities.