Crazy Hit and Run, Literally, in Logan Circle Saturday Night

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

“Dear PoPville,

My husband and I just witnessed a ridiculous hit-and-run accident in Logan Circle. We were walking our dog in the circle around 1:15am when we noticed a Jeep Grand Cherokee speeding and screeching around the circle. After exiting the circle onto 13th St. southbound, the Jeep slammed into the sedan stopped at a red light at O St. When my husband and I came to help/get the license plate info, the driver tried backing up over the median to flee the scene, but was unable to get away. My husband then grabbed the keys from the driver. The driver jumped out of the car, screaming belligerently, and ran off down 13th St., leaving her incomprehensibly drunk husband in the passenger’s seat…a literal hit-and-run! We called the cops and they arrived on the scene shortly thereafter. Not sure what will happen with this couple–probably just a hefty fine–but I’m glad they didn’t hurt anyone. Good reminder to NEVER drive drunk, kiddos!

85 Comment

  • Thank god only a car was damaged.

  • How was your husband able to grab the keys? It sounds like they were still in the ignition at that point. Did he reach through an open window?

  • Glad no one was hurt! But, when you said “My husband then grabbed the keys from the driver” I was a little confused. Like he reached in the car and grabbed the keys? Or the driver was already out of the car?

  • What are the chances that this driver had a MD or VA license plate? Are there percentages over 100%?

    • After 25+ years of watching idiotic driving behavior in this neighborhood, I’d say that the odds of these clowns having MD tags on their Jeep are 10 times higher than having VA tags.

    • Because people who register cars in DC don’t drink and drive? Mmmmk….

      • The likelihood of owning a car in the District is much smaller compared to MD and VA, and there’s less incentive to drink and drive, because a cab wouldn’t be as expensive.

        • Let’s not forget how many Md and Va plated cars are kept by owners who reside in the District, for whatever reason.

          • We can’t “not forget” something we never knew in the first place. Can you tell us how many MD and VA plated cars are kept by owners who reside in the District? In my whole life living here I’ve only ever known of one.

          • Yeah, I don’t think it’s that common. Car insurance is a lot more expensive in VA (mine was 3x as much) so there’s incentive to get that registration changed as quickly as possible.

          • Huh? When I moved from VA to DC, mine doubled. My understanding was that DC is one of the highest-priced jurisdictions for car insurance, while VA is on the lower end.

        • Exactly. Someone who lives outside the Beltway will be paying at least $100 in fare if they take a cab to DC and back. You can see how someone in that situation might decide to take their chances and drive. On the other hand, it’s harder to justify that decision when you live in the city and it only costs $10 or less.

  • I’m very curious to know what the consequences are for hit and run when the individual is caught. It sounds like in this case, the driver was drinking. I hope they both receive more than a small fine. A lot of this is happening in the city. Yesterday, my husband was hit by a woman who pretending to get back in her car to get her insurance info. She quickly fled the scene, but thankfully he took a photo of her license plate. In December, my car was hit in a parking lot and no note was left. Over the summer, my friend’s car was side swiped and my husband’s work vehicle was rear-ended. Both were also hit and runs.

    • I hit a parked car on my street one morning and knocked on doors to try to find the owner. I then called the police when I couldn’t find the owner. When the police officer arrived he was incredulous. He could not believe that I had stayed on the scene and called in to report the damage. For my part, I was not worried about being caught but you know, just doing the right F’ing thing. It is amazing for me how little regard some people have for others.

      • Knocking on doors? Why not just leave a note?

        • I had seen the car on the street several times so I figured the owner lived right there. He did, just wasn’t home.

        • +1. I can see why the cop might be incredulous – knocking on doors seems a like a over-the-top response to a minor accident. Leaving a note is exactly what you’re supposed to do, not wasting police resources for a small ding – not to mention annoying the neighbors. Or that’s then way I see it anyway…

          • Take it easy guys. It was on his street. It’s not like he was in unfamiliar territory.

          • How do you know it was a small ding? And so what if it was? You should thank her for going above and beyond the norm. The hit and run on my Acura (11.16am post) ended up costing over $2k and I imagine my husband’s Porsche will be more than that. The insurance is covering majority, but we are both stuck paying $500 each in deductibles.

      • That is super nice of you to do that. With so many hit and runs in the city, I bet the cop was amazed that you even stuck around.

      • There’s an easier way. The guy who hit my car (Eric), called HIS insurance and gave them my car’s info. His insurance tracked down MY insurance, and my insurance called me. Nice guy, that Eric.

        • Good idea. Next time I smash into a park car I will do that. By the way, I called the non-emergency number to file a report and they dispatched the officer to take the report. They did say that he was diverted from a hostage situation in order to take my report but so be it.

    • I think insurance companies should make it easier for people to do the right thing. The way they usually operate, a small ding can cost the at-fault driver thousands of dollars in charges that they have to pay for the next three years. Maybe if the penalties for minor accidents weren’t so outsized fewer people would hit and run.

  • My husband opened the driver’s door, stepped on the brakes, and turned the car off. The driver was fighting the whole time and still attempting to drive off.

    The car had VA tags.

    Another side note- in an odd attempt at chivalry (?), the husband told the cops (in slurred, unintelligible drunk speech) that HE was the driver…guess he was trying to take the fall for his wife. We corrected him when giving the report to the police.

    • Wow, good on your husband. These people sound like selfish, dangerous, unrepentant assholes!
      Yo suburbanites – you want to go out and enjoy the “nightlife” of DC? Book an Uber, take cab, or ride the Metro. If all else fails, book a hotel room and sleep it off. I see way too many jackass drunk drivers around U Street and Logan Circle on the weekends with VA and MD plates.

      • Easier said than done, unfortunately. Cabs from the ‘burbs are super-expensive.

        • Doesn’t excuse drunk or “buzzed” driving.
          Don’t live in the ‘burbs if you want to drink and partake in the DC nightlife.

          • I know that, but some of you act like it’s the easiest thing in the world. Most people live outside the Beltway because they can’t afford DC, so they also can’t afford to drop a hundred a night on a cab.

          • I’m sure they can even less afford all the legal and liability expenses they will now be paying for their night out.

          • the problem is not that people act like getting a cab is the easiest thing. the problem is that people take drinking and driving so lightly.

        • So you’ll excuse them for driving drunk and putting themselves and, more importantly, other innocent, safe drivers in danger because cabs to/from the suburbs are “super-expensive”?

          • Jesus Christ. No.

          • Then save your “hundred a night on a cab”, have your drinks outside the Beltway, and cab/metro/walk home. One of the many reasons I choose to live in the city is not needing a car to get around.

          • Totally agree. But I think PP’s comment stems more from realism. The fact that people SHOULDN’T be assholes does not mean that they won’t. People will drive in from the suburbs for DC’s superior nightlife, and some of them will drink way too much, and a some will choose to drive. From a policy standpoint, I like the idea of making it as easy as possible for people NOT to be assholes. Better Metro infrastructure and 24 hour service would be a start.

    • That’s awesome. Thanks to you and your husband for doing that.

  • Kinda late to walk the dog, isn’t it? You never know that any crime can be committed @ any time.

  • Hitting someone with your car should be treated like an assault with a deadly weapon. We really need to change the way we characterize car “accidents.” Fleeing the scene should be automatic jail time.

    • This. I’m sick and tired of people getting away with brutal assaults and even manslaughter because of their choice of weapon.

      • So intent has nothing to do with it?

        • If you accidentally shoot and kill someone, you will be arrested and tried for manslaughter. If you accidentally run over someone with your car and kill them, you will probably receive a fine. Why should the punishment be dependent on the weapon used?

          • So anything that could possibly kill someone (dining room chair, bathroom cleaner, dog, hairdryer) should be considered a weapon?

          • Exactly, far more people are killed or worse by drunk drivers than people randomly shooting guns.

          • To Anon at 2:33pm, that’s why there’s the “Deadly” weapon distinction in Legalese.

    • So if a construction worker accidentally drops something off a scaffold and it hits someone it should be assault with a deadly weapon also?

      • If the construction worker went to work drunk? I could see a case for that, yes. Or a new classification– impaired use of dangerous equipment. It goes beyond an accident, because the driver or the construction worker or whoever DID intend to be drunk.

      • It’s a question of negligence. Did the construction worker ignore safety regulations? Was the construction worker dangling the hammer over the edge?

        Same with driving. If you hit someone while following the rules of the road and obeying the speed limit, etc…, then there should be no serious consequences. However, if you are speeding, run a red light, rear end a vehicle stopped at a light, etc.. then that is negligent operation of the vehicle, at a minimum. Punishment for these crimes should be serious. When you drive a car you are obligated to pay attention and follow the rules.

  • doesn’t seem very reasonable to automatically assume that the driver was not tagged in DC. maybe so, maybe not. DC residents drink and abuse drugs and make poor decisions just like everybody else..

    • exactly lol
      what are they talking about lol

      there are tons of drunk drivers with DC tags every weekend

      lets just group them as drunk drivers… who cares where they came from or where they are headed or what dmv/ mva they had to go to to get a metal square with numbers stamped into them

      like seriously….

      & i do wonder what comes of this. i assume the driver was drunk and by fleeing on food avoided a dui charge, may have been a smart move (i said smart, on her part, not the right thing to do clearly) if they only get a hefty fine

      • It’s probably frustration, living in this neighborhood and seeing people stumble into cars with MD plates way, way more often than DC plates. At least that’s my experience.

  • What makes you think the driver was only fined and not charged with anything?

    • There were probably charges actually…

      like fleeing the scene of an accident or whatever etc…

      still may be far better than a dui. because those are SERIOUS

      • Call me cynical, but they were a wealthy white couple in their ~late 30s/early 40s. I have a feeling they realistically will only have to pay a fine, rather than jail time/charges/DUI. Messed up.

        • I really don’t think that actually happens, except in rare situations where the wealthy white person is very well connected.

          • agree. know person who was arrested for speeding in DC – no prior tickets & totally sober. being white and affluent didn’t save them.

          • house of cards had me believe otherwise

          • For a first-time offense it’s likely a good lawyer can get them a fine, alcohol rehab, and maybe probation. Still not gonna be cheap. And btw, arrested and thrown in the pokey until you see the judge is way different from a criminal sentence with jail time. Unless the arrested speeder was driving 50 MPH over posted while in a disabled and blind children’s school zone, I find it very hard to believe they went to jail for a first-time offense.

  • It’s fun to party at a bar in DC, but it’s less fun to party with prison wine made in a stainless steel toilet. Take an Uber or a cab! And if you can’t afford to take a cab, then you REALLY can’t afford NOT to take a cab! Even disregarding all the jail time and legal fees, etc, just the deductible on your insurance alone is likely multiples of your cab fare even if you lived outside the beltway. Think about that.

    • Bars should be illegal, honestly. Most people in this country, including th eDC metro area, don’t have access to public transit so drunk driving is sadly inevitable.

      • Why not just outlaw the real culprit – alcohol? Worked wonders in the 20s!

      • Ummm… no. 98% of people in this world are able to either go to a bar and enjoy a fun night responsibly and only have one or two drinks over two or three hours on a full stomach and drive home with a 0.00% BAC or make an alternative arrangement (metro, cab, walking, Uber, ride with a friend who was the designated driver, crash at your booty call’s house in town, etc) and go out and have more than that to drink.

        I would, however, fully support the doormen and doorwomen who check your ID on the way into the bar asking how you plan to get home, just as a friendly little reminder that it’s smarter to make that plan when you’re sober than after you’ve already had so many you crash your Jeep into another car and drunkenly run away leaving your husband passed out in the passenger seat. I’ve been asked that once or twice in bars in other cities and thought it was a helpful question that on one occasion came with very handy advice that if I wanted to get a cab in that area (which I was unfamiliar with), it was best to do it before a certain time of night when they tended to get scarce.

        • You don’t understand much about BAC> Full stomach or not has nothing to do with it, and one or two drinks will put a lot of people (small women especially) over the limit.

          • The average person should be able to completely process about 1 drink per hour. So, one or two drinks over two or three hours should be more than enough time to process those drinks. Now, that is one or two drinks at the actual amount of alcohol that’s supposed to be in a drink, not one or two glasses of whatever your friend the bartender serves on a very heavy pour. When in doubt, stick to beer where the alcohol content and serving size of the bottle is controlled.

          • Not entirely true that full stomach has nothing to do with it. Is a full stomach a prophylactic against getting drunk? No, of course not. But food intake CAN be one of the factors that influences how alcohol affects a person, as can the person’s weight, medications they may be taking, gender, type of drink, length of time over which the drinks are consumed, and so on. For many people, a full stomach is better than drinking on an empty stomach, although everyone’s tolerance is different. I’ve known women who were 70lbs lighter than me and 9 inches shorter, and they could drink me under the table. The other night, a friend (who’s about the same size as me) and I had the same two drinks over a three-hour dinner–I was fine, and she was totally loopy by the end (but not driving, going home in a taxi with another friend of ours). I think many people can safely consume alcohol at the quantity and rate ShawGuy mentioned–but for those who can’t, it’s still their responsibility to know that and plan accordingly.

          • BAC and being loopy are two entirely different things in the eyes of the law. And the latter can be hard to predict and plan for ahead of time, especially if your tolerance varies wildly from day to day. Best to memorize the BAC chart for your age/sex/weight and not deviate from it.

        • True Story:
          A friend of mine got a DUI in Virginia because she was drunk and sleeping in her car. She had the keys in the ignition in order to have the heat on during the cold winter night. She didn’t drive anywhere and wanted to sleep it off.
          Virginia cops are huge assholes. In general, Virginia is a fascist police state and has one of the highest incarceration rates and longest avg prison sentences in the country. I’m never moving there.

          • + a million
            So glad I got out of there. I hear stories like that all the time.

          • You sound like a reasonable person.

          • My bf fell asleep while taking a cab home in Fairfax County. Rather than wake him up the cab driver pulled over to one of the many cops that are scattered along the roads, and the cop arrested him for being drunk in public even though he’d woken up and was being cooperative. They certainly make it hard for people to use drunk driving alternatives.

          • jim_ed

            You realize thats the law everywhere, right?

            I watched MPD give two dudes on my street a DUI not more than two weeks ago for sitting in a running car while drinking.

          • “So glad I got out of there. I hear stories like that all the time.”
            Due to the felony DUI, my friend lost her job, had her license suspended for a year, paid $10K+ in lawyer fees, her home went into foreclosure, and her credit has gone to sh#t. It basically destroyed her life.
            Virginia is one of those places that really tries to keep you poor or tack on extra charges if you ever do anything wrong. They make it as hard as possible to turn your life around. The prosecutors and police are out to ruin your life as much as possible – insane fines and fees-on-fees, mandatory 6 month suspension of license if you have a misdemeanor marijuana violation (i.e. possession or smoking in your home), mandatory rehabilitation programs that are expensive and run by well-connected political contributors, etc.

          • That’s not just a VA law. Many, if not most, states consider you to be operating the vehicle if you’re in it and the key is in the ignition. As long as the vehicle can start when the key is turned, you’re busted.

          • “Fascist police state” is putting it mildly! I wish they’d spend more money on public transit instead of incarceration and officer salaries.

          • My condolences to your friend– that’s some terrible luck. Sure, the law exists in many other places like DC, but the corruption in VA makes the consequences far worse.

          • In defense of the cop, s/he had no way of knowing or proving that the car had not moved with her driving it. I believe you and think your friend was probably trying to be responsible and had not driven anywhere, but it is just as possible, in theory, that your friend drove from somewhere else to that spot and passed out after she parked the car. That’s the theory that lets this type of charge get presented. Too bad she got caught up in this bad situation, though. Rule of thumb – never get in a car that does not have a sober person sitting in the drivers seat for the duration of the time you are in the car if you’ve been drinking, period.

          • @ShawGuy:
            Can a drunk passenger also get a DUI if the driver is drunk?!? Would they face charges?
            That seems insane.

          • The trick to that one is not having the keys in plain sight
            if you say your friend has the keys and is still out you are good to go
            but if you have them sitting on the dash, in the ignition, in your lap, etc… you can easily get a DUI

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