Another Crazy Car Crash on 18th and Harvard St, NW

by Prince Of Petworth April 4, 2012 at 5:42 pm 41 Comments

It’s been a rough couple of weeks trying to navigate 18th and Harvard St, NW. Thanks to a reader for sending the photo. They write:

“First the great tractor trailer crash last week, now this! My intersection sure is busy this week.”

Another reader writes:

“Also, looks to be a couple (of sorts, a guy and girl). The girl has just been cuffed.”

At Intersection of 18th and Quarry Rd, NW by Harvard:

View Larger Map

  • Looks like this moron just saw the street straight ahead and didn’t realize there was a flight of stairs there…

    • Timmy

      Google Maps lets me go straight through 18th street on Quarry!

    • sayhey

      didn’t they have to jump a curb to get there!?

      talk about a perfect caption contest photo…

  • Anonymous

    This happens here with some regularity.

  • what


    • classic_six

      Funny – spot on.

    • Peyton

      +1 : )

  • Anonymous

    When I see things like this, I get reminded how easy it would be for any one of us to be wiped out at any moment. Jesus.

    • Over the River

      Was Jesus driving?

  • classic_six

    Is this a really tricky intersection to navigate by car? How does this happen? Well, obviously the truck incident was an issue of being too big for the britches but this one?

    • Jenna

      I can navigate this intersection in my giant Cargo van – so I don’t understand how people in normal sized cars have problems with it.

      • Yes, but presumably you’ve driven through the intersection on a regular basis. I can absolutely understand someone continuing through the dead end there because you can’t see the stairs and can see the road continue below.

        It’s not necessarily the size of the car or whether it’s difficult to maneuver. It’s unfamiliarity with the area.

        • Jenna

          I dunno – as others have mentioned, there’s a stop sign at the end of Quarry road, and the only way to have gotten to the stairs is to have gone over the sidewalk. Now, I’m a fairly new driver to the city and I’ve done my fair share of stupid things because I didn’t know traffic patterns or streets while I was driving. But if someone misses the stop sign AND goes over the side walk – like, that’s only going to happen if you’re majorly distracted, or intoxicated.

    • The trick to making the turn would be to pay attention. I drive on this road all the time, and I should at this point just stop being surprised by how clueless most drivers seem to be…

  • haha

    Glad everyone is okay! Also glad to see my tax dollars hard at work. Can somebody please get these cops a drink?! All they have is a concrete wall to sit on. They must be miserable; looking onward is not easy!

  • bob

    These people had to have been special. It’s not readily apparent that the street would continue, especially since there’s a stop sign at that intersection on 18th, and there’s normally a parallel parked car right there.

    • ah

      Kind of incomprehensible that the lack of a curb cut, fences, and railings wouldn’t be enough of a clue. But perhaps a street sign, even just for zoned parking, right in the middle would help make it clear.

  • qst

    I love that on street view there’s a mason fixing that brick wall that was apparently taken out by the semi last week. It’s like getting a real time view of Harvard St!!

    • Hehe does anyone think the mason’s union is secretly arranging all of this? Damn you Masonic Temple, I knew you were up to something!

      • Anonymous


        • Anonymous


        • Heh, that was an attempt to make a joke about the fact that masons make lots of money when people destroy brick walls, and there’s been lots of wall-destroying car crashes lately…. ah nevermind.

  • JA

    May I humbly suggest that the second photo be next week’s Caption Contest photo? Seems like great potential.

    I’m glad no one is hurt, though.

  • Petworthian

    Are the license plates MD or VA?

    • VA.

      • Fonzi

        Figures, and by the account below, VA drivers know the laws and break them anyway, while MD drivers are just clueless…

  • Now opening The Marylander Job: Drive stupid, Do stupid, Arrest stupid.

  • BigSpaceHamster

    My wife and I actually saw this happen. It was no accident. The driver definitely knew what he was doing and for some reason decided to try to save the thirty seconds that it would take to drive around. There had to have been some form of intoxication because nobody on their right mind would do this deliberately.

  • JPK

    I thought this was a Brightest Young Things art installation

  • anonnnnn

    the only thing i can think of from looking at google street view since i’m not familiar with this road, is that maybe the drivers thought it was some sorf of ramp that went down, rather than stairs? otherwise i just have no freaking clue…

  • Looks like the driver only stopped because the car was high-centered. Need much higher clearence to do a staircase like that.

    • Anonymous

      I know nothing about cars. What kind of car would be able to handle going down these stairs?

      • E&T

        A Jeep of course

  • Quarry hasn’t been a through street for 100 years.

    • Dcster

      They must have been relying on a very outdated GPS device!

  • This works on Grand Theft Auto all the time.

    • Flatsix

      Yep, he just wasn’t carrying enough speed.

  • Disgusted in DC

    There is a car-chase scene like this in the movie “What’s Up Doc?”

  • the Asian Exception

    ~ the first Asian DC Streets Grand Prix was halted 3 minutes out of the starting gate due to a mishap ~

    Hey, I’m the second best driver in DC (who’s the best? don’t know – haven’t met HIM yet) so am a Asian exception but I always dread the crash derby parking lot at Eden Center or H-Mart

  • Anonymous

    There is a big curb on the sidewalk. She had to be under the influence because she was arrested.

  • Emily

    Loved the temporary stop sign at the top of the stairs this morning.


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