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Girl Hit by Car at 14th and Spring St, NW Sun. Afternoon

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“Dear PoPville,

Do you have any info about a car crash at 14th and Spring, NW? I was running by there about 45 minutes ago [Sunday] and saw a crowd gathered around an accident scene. A man was slumped over in the driver’s seat of a car that had crashed into a parked car. A young girl (12 maybe?) was on the ground with a bleeding head injury, and an older woman who did not appear to be injured, was wailing inconsolably nearby. A number of bystanders had gathered and someone was holding the girl while they waited for the ambulance which showed up a few minutes later. It was a really disturbing scene to stumble onto.

It wasn’t clear if all three persons had been in the car that crashed, or if perhaps the man (driving drunk?) had run the light and hit the girl while she was crossing the street with her mother. I fear it might have been the latter. I live a block from that intersection and every single day have sidestep men who are so drunk they piss their pants and pass out on the sidewalk. That kind of drinking seems to be an issue in the community I live in and I wonder about how it affects the families that live around here. Having done volunteer work with Latin American and Mexican communities in the past, I am aware that drinking is a pretty big issue (with men mostly) and often accompanies spousal and child abuse. The problems tend go unreported, perhaps for cultural reasons (it is not as common for women to speak out in some cultures) or perhaps because concerns about immigration status make people reluctant to get police involved .

Anyway, I have nothing against drinking (I definitely do my fair share). I have no idea if the guy involved in this accident was drunk or at even at fault. I wouldn’t normally jump to conclusions about an accident like that. I think I did so in this case because of what I see happening around me day to day. I feel like there is something destructive happening in my neighborhood. Depending on what exactly did happen with this car accident, it might provide an opportunity to start a conversation about what people can do to change things. People should be able to walk to work or to their school bus stop without stepping over passed out drunks. Women shouldn’t have to brace themselves for several blocks of verbal sexual harassment by the guys loitering around the liquor stores and bodegas every time they walk to the metro. Those who suffer abuse behind closed doors because of alcoholic husbands or relatives need to know they can call for help.

I know this is a bit of a rant and pretty random. I felt sort of frantic and helpless stumbling on the scene of that accident and not knowing what to do to help while waiting for the ambulance to come. I guess it got me thinking about some of the other things I see happening in this neighborhood, and made me want to do something proactive, to try to start a conversation at least rather than allow things to continue to decay without doing anything.”

Yesterday the People’s District Danny Harris tweeted to me: “Girl gets hit by a car while on the sidewalk outside of church near 14th and Spring Rd.” Anyone else see what happened?

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