“No Don’t!” – A Scooter vs. Minivan Incident on Upshur (Friday Night)

IMG_3468, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

From an Eyewitness:

“As I was thinking to myself, “what a nice evening”, I hear the sound of a scooter coming up the 4100 block of 4th Street. I look over an watch two teenage boys joyriding helmetless on a scooter. They slow down for the stop sign, but then pull out onto Upshur in an attempt to cross to the 4200 block without stopping. Then they do stop – in the middle of the street – as I hear one of them shout “no don’t!”

I don’t know if that was said to the scooter driver or to the minivan driver who squealed into the scene and struck the boys on their scooter. Headed west on Upshur, the minivan driver pulled over immediately and stuck her head out of her car and asked, twice, loudly, “Is he okay? Are they alright?” Then she drove off.

Yes, she left the scene, and I can see that becoming the central point to the story. But before we judge her as heartless or mean, as those at the scene already were, I think she was freaked. She just hit two neighborhood boys and seemed shocked and scared. Speeding off, I hope and believe she was headed to a safe spot (home?) to call the cops, rather than face the growing crowd at the scene.

Would the arriving people know that the boys didn’t stop? Would they blame her for their foolishness? And can we feel empathy and sadness for both? The teenagers now headed to the hospital and the driver shaking with fear?”

34 Comment

  • This is a direct result of MPD failing to enforce vehicle registration laws for scooters & the absurd no-chase policy in this city, The law already states that everything with a motor must be registered/tagged. MPD/DDOT/DMV or whoever needs to get a big truck and just impound every scooter/moped without tags parked on city streets and sidewalks. The city council and Chief then need to give MPD officers the authority to act like actual law enforcement instead of just report takers.

    I’d be willing to bet the scooter involved in this collision was either bought by these kids or a relative and untagged or stolen. Either way, without accountability [like tags/registration] and enforcement [like being able to stop scooter operators] crap like this will continue to happen.

    As for not stopping – pretty sure that’s a felony when injuries are suspected of one party involved. She should have driven a few blocks out of sight and called 911 if she feared some kind of mob. Doubt she did this. Hit-and-run is basically the norm here.

    So really no empathy for any parties involved here from me. All I see is Just classic DC look-out-for-myself attitude and lack of respect for the law shown by both of them.

  • The amount of untagged scooters — and motorcycles…not just scooters — in DC exceeds the amount of legal ones. What I find surprising is the risk so many restaurants take by having their food delivered on illegal scooters (probably by unlicensed drivers, too).

  • I hear stories like this all the time. When will people start taking responsibilities for their actions? It hurts me to read that so many drivers are irresponsible and that there are so many hit and runs. Yes, they boys were certainly at fault. But the woman in the car hit them and then left. I hope that they put the pieces together and find her and she gets whatever justice she deserves.

  • What’s really hilarious is that it is easier than poop to get a license and reg for a scooter/motorcycle in the district. Before my moped was stolen (grr), I was paying $35/year for insurance. I got my “license” by driving around in front of the DMV guy and proving I wouldn’t fall over and that my lights all worked.

    No excuse for not having your scooter registered and having your license. And no excuse for MPD not enforcing the laws.

  • Talking with others, it seems that these boys have been zipping around the neighborhood for a while now, going the wrong way down 4th Street and not stopping at other stop signs. I do not know what became of them, but from what I saw of the accident, they will not be scootering for a while. Does anyone know what happened with the driver?

  • So the important thing here is that scooters don’t have registration? Not the fact that licensed driver ran someone over and fled.. wow

  • Washingtonian, the fact that a licensed drier ran someone over and fled would matter if those riding the scooter – registered or not, borrowed or or stolen- were white kids.

  • Having seen a community turn into a lynch mob over a similar incident–a mob that murdered the driver who stopped, a driver who was the victim of the accident, not the cause–I can’t say I blame the driver for not feeling safe stopping.

    But I do hope she called from a safe place and reported her involvement. Like the eyewitness, I’ll reserve judgement.

  • Well, despite what the black community will say about this incident on this post, I am quite sure they know right from wrong. They KNOW the white driver (if she was) was correct in ensuring her safety in a black community in this experience, even though they will criticize her. And they KNOW the kids were excused from harassing and putting others lives in danger on a continuing basis. I know this because if the scooter driver was an asian delivery driver they would be talking about unsafe the asians are. WHEN will the black community in DC get with the program and start standing up to these kids??

    Maybe when they do, the comments on here will not be taken so personally. Behavior over color folks! In my old neighborhood we knew which kids were causing problems and which did not.

  • are you ffing kidding? seriously? ok to leave the seen after hitting someone? you hit someone, you think you hit some one, stop ..period !get out, get on your cell, make the call. if they say they are ok insist on waiting for an ambulance and dont let them get up if they are on the ground..some one may be hurt you are ok your feelings dont count.

  • Maybe i missed something here, but i don’t think the race of either the scooter riders or the minivan driver are mentioned in the original story, yet at least three idiots have decided to turn this into a race-baiting forum. thanks for the conclusion-jumping.

    The kids, regardless of race, were stupid and broke the law by running the stop sign, causing an accident. the driver, regardless of race, should have stopped. hopefully, she didn’t go far, called the cops, and sat waiting for them to arrive. if not, then she’s broken the law as well.

  • Don’t be so naive!

  • I see these kids driving around like bats out of hell all the time north of Upshur, total disregard for any sort of laws, it’s amazing they didn’t get hurt earlier. Not that these youngin’s are punk thugs, but certainly showing some of the traits of the young community in DC, reckless, disregard for authority, culture of toughness and violence, petty crimes as well as horrific ones all too often the norm. But then again, they are kids, it must be fun as hell to ride that fast at night all over the place, until someone loses an eye.

    Slow down, be safe, respect the community, find a way to make a living that doesn’t involve handguns (unless you want to become a law enforcement officer, a military man), please please teach your children to be nice.

    This isn’t about blacks and whites, it’s about culture, community, expectations of proper behavior for adults and children alike.

  • I don’t think we should tolerate either behavior. Those kids caused the accident and they are now suffering the consequences. On the other hand, I am so disappointed that some people think that it is excusable to leave the scene of an accident. If you hit someone, no matter where you are, or what ridiculous lynching stories you have heard, you stop, call an ambulance and wait for the police. Anything less is simply unacceptable and probably criminal. I hope that the driver did the right thing. If she didn’t, I hope that she is arrested and put away for a while.

  • I’m glad this accident happened. No wonder it’s quite tonight on 4th st. This punks zoom thru stop sings going wrong way endangering lives. They make so much noise without even thinking that maybe a child or a sick person is sleeping. I just hope they’re not able to ride a motorcycle again for a long long time and the woman gets away with it.

  • anonymmous 1:31 get the hell out of my city!

  • First — I had a couple of renters in my basement apartment. they were young and didn’t have much money. They had this little red car and were driving home one night when a few scooters came rushing down the wrong way (I think it was 5th street) and rammed into their car. they put a big dent in it. The one kid that hit the car was dazed but grabbed his scooter and started to run. they all took off leaving the couple with a huge dent in their car. I will say I am totally annoyed at those scooters, the noise they make and the reckless way they fly around our streets in the summer. They simply don’t give a shit about other people and are destined for accidents.

    Second, the woman should have stopped. That was just wrong.

  • i mean anonymous 12:27 get out of my city

  • “IMG_3468,” the caution-tape-and-police-car picture, sure gets used a lot!

  • 12:20, welcome to your new neighborhood!

    Give yourself a year.

  • it’s really hard to have much sympathy for the guys on motorcycles – they zoom around ledroit park and bloomingdale as well and show absolutely wanton disregard for their lives or other motorists. i don’t know what i’d do if I hit one – i mean, in front of my house, they don’t even slow down for the stop sign and the little minibikes are so low you can’t see them over parked cars if they’re approaching on the perpendicular road.

  • While I don’t support hit and run as an official culling method, any reduction of these cracked-out squids on minibikes in our city is just fine with me.

  • neener what are you talking about?

  • I was jogging near 4th and Webster just yesterday late afternoon when i saw a very young boy riding a rather large scooter. He did not stop at the stop sign and then I noticed he sped up very quickly…I then noticed that the car stopped in front of him was a Park Police car. The police made a uturn and headed after him. Not sure what happened then, but maybe it was one of the same kids. Shame…why aren’t the parents stopping this activity.

  • The driver should have stopped and I hope the boys were not seriously hurt. But I hope the scooter was damaged beyond repair . . . besides being a nuisance, the majority of the scooters in the neighborhood are unlicensed, are ridden with reckless abandon, and are a serious public safety concern. This is not a victimless crime. The scooter riders are not just endangering their own lifes, but the lives of others. More tragic consequences are only a matter of time; e.g., a car driver swerving to miss a scooter that flew through a stop sign and the car strikes a tree or pedestrians on the sidewalk . . . resulting in innocent fatalities.

  • I can’t believe this got turned into a race issue either. It is clearly an issue of recklace behavior on a scooter and someone committing a hit and run. But you know, regardless that the woman was wrong to flee the scene, it totally sucks that she might have killed one or two of these kids in something that sounds like it wasn’t even her fault. What a terrible thing to have to live with!

    I am 98% sure I have seen these two kids before racing around 3rd Street. If it is the same kids, I have seen them racing around on that scooter at all hours of the day and night. They race through the alleys, up the streets and they are loud as hell. I even witness them blow through the 3rd and Upshur 4 way stop, make an illegal turn up a one way street, and then cut into the alley ALL RIGHT IN FRONT OF A COP CAR!!! The cop did nothing!!!!

  • I was up at Upshur running a week ago and I saw a few kids riding four wheelers on the sidewalk then pulling wheelies as they drove onto Rock Creek Church Road. I’m sorry someone got hurt, but it’s bound to happen the way the scooters and now four wheelers drive in the neighborhood. The police really need to do something to put a stop to this.

  • I would not assume that the driver failed to stop because she was scared of a lynch mob forming. Hit and run stories are disgustingly common and they occur in crowded urban areas as well as in isolated rural areas. There are as many hit and runs that happen when no one else is around as happen when a crowd is nearby. There is no excuse for her not stopping. Pull over and call the police. If you are afraid, roll up your windows and lock your doors, and wait for help to arrive.
    I am not at all surprised to hear of a scooter accident. I live hear Park View elementary and there are several scooters that run up and down Warder St. with no regard for stop lights, stop signs, or the direction of traffic. I think a kid was even killed a couple of years ago in an accident. I think the police can do more about this but I’m not sure that chasing these kids is the best solution. These kids have no concept of safety when they are joyriding. If the police start chasing, they will get even more reckless. And when the inevitable happens – some pedestrian gets hit and seriously injured by a scooter running from the cops, the same people who are calling for a chase policy will be denouncing the cops for chasing someone just for riding a scooter without a helmet. This is one of those areas where better community policing and involvement can pay off. If cops get to know the community, they can identify the kids who are doing this and go after them directly.

  • Sorry, I thought you were responding to someone else- misread the time of the person you were responding to. my bad.

  • Kalia, they do all this reckless cr*p right in front of MPD because these kids know that the cops can’t do anything. Officers are ordered not to chase anything with two wheels [or juveniles on 4 wheelers]. If officers even try to follow them an MPD official will come over the radio and order them to stop the ‘chase’. It’s insane. MPD has to wait until they crash then just fill out the report. Chief and the city council want it that way.

  • I was there when the kids crashed. 5 mins prior to the accident, the driver of the scooter (alone at the time) approached at a very high speed from behind. He chose to then drive up onto the the sidewalk to pass my vehicle. I drove once around the block. By the time I circled the block, the kid was lying in the intersection completely lifeless (with eyes open) and another kid screaming hysterically on top of him. Neither had helmets. We felt especially bad considering some of the things we said just moments before the crash. Hopefully the kids will recover to learn from this.

  • To those that are complaining “get out of my city” perhaps consider that it is NOT YOUR CITY.


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