Hit-and-Run Driver Leaves 6-Year-Old Injured at C Street Intersection

child crossing in crosswalk at intersection

On Wednesday, October 4, 2023, a mother was holding hands with her 6-year-old son as they crossed C Street NE in the crosswalk at 12th Street NE. The mother’s middle schooler was also walking with them, who was holding onto the family dog on a leash. The woman reports making eye contact with the driver of a 2005 black Nissan Armada headed westbound, who temporarily paused at the stop sign. Video footage from a nearby security camera shows the driver began to roll forward and accelerate as the family crossed at the crosswalk. He hit the mother, her two sons, and her dog as they reached the middle of the street.

The woman was knocked out of her shoes while her older son jumped out of the way. Her 6-year-old son, however, who was dressed up for picture day at school, bore the brunt of the collision. The boy ended up crumpling under the SUV’s front end, with his left foot pinned under the driver’s side wheel. The family dog lay on the ground underneath the vehicle.

Several bystanders immediately rushed over to help the family. One witness told the driver to back up to help free the 6-year-old’s foot. The mother recalls that another witness ran to the driver and told him to pull over. The driver said he would, but instead, pulled away slowly before taking off, with the good Samaritan chasing behind on foot. A nearby police officer pursued the car but could not engage in a high-speed car chase due to safety regulations. Fortunately, a neighbor noted the license plate and called 911.

The young boy’s foot is broken, and the family works with an orthopedic surgeon to determine treatment. The family dog, as did the mother and her older child, walked away with minor injuries.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were no updates to the case, according to officers. However, sources say the vehicle was recovered, and it is believed that police will arrest the case soon. There are indications that the suspect was a DC driver in a vehicle with out-of-state tags who may have a prior record of dangerous driving.

That morning, one passerby told the mother that he had just come from a public hearing on four bills that address dangerous driving in the District. He suggested the woman contact Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, who co-introduced the bills, together with Councilmembers Brianne Nadeau (Ward 1-D) and Christine Henderson (A (At Large-I).

Proposed changes to the DC Code carry stricter penalties for dangerous drivers. One bill targets drivers who consistently endanger others, even if their fines have been paid, and grants the District Office of the Attorney General the ability to pursue out-of-state drivers in civil court. Another bill aims to suspend the license and registration in cases of driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury, and negligent homicide while driving. The current DC Code provides that drivers who leave the scene of an accident face a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 180 days in jail.

Currently, DC does not have reciprocity agreements with Maryland and Virginia, which means there are no consequences for out-of-state drivers with thousands of unpaid tickets issued by the city’s speed cameras. Under new legislation, a hit-and-run resulting in personal injury, such as the one at C Street, would immediately suspend the driver’s license.

Councilmember Charles Allen has expressed frustration with the lack of urgency around these incidents. A week after the pedestrian accident, the vehicle is apparently in MPD custody, but the driver has still not been charged. In addition to speaking with Councilmembers, the mother has contacted organizations working for safer streets. She expresses deep gratitude to all those lending her family support. The hit-and-run investigation is ongoing.

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, call the Law Offices of Duane O. King at 202-331-1963 or complete our online form for a free consultation. Located in Washington, DC, Alexandria, and Falls Church, Virginia, we serve clients in Prince George’s County.