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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Truck driver kills bicyclist trying to cross Columbia Pike

A driver struck and killed a bicyclist yesterday near the intersection of Columbia Pike and Ashwood Place in the Barcroft area. Elizabeth P. Shattuck, 58, of 3216 Patrick Henry Drive in Falls Church, was pronounced dead at the scene, Mason District Police reported.

According to a police bulletin, a 72-year-old man was driving a 1998 Chevrolet S10 pickup truck westbound on Columbia Pike at around 2:07 p.m., when he struck Shattuck, who was attempting to cross Columbia Pike from north to south. She was in the westbound lanes of Columbia Pike at the time of the crash. She hit the hood and went over the roof of the truck. There wasn’t a crosswalk at the location. Speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors.

The accident shut down that section of Columbia Pike for about four hours. Annandale videographer Bob Kovacs was driving by the site of the accident shortly after it happened and shot this video. [Check out more videos from Kovacs on his Annandale Arts You Tube channel.] 

There was a fatal accident on Columbia Pike involving a pedestrian less than two months ago. In September, a school bus driver struck and killed an elderly man attempting to cross Columbia Pike near Gallows Road.


  1. A dedicated bike lane down Columbia Pike from the Annandale village center area to the Pentagon is seriously needed. Columbia Pike is a cyclist's deathtrap. With the wealth and education concentrated in Fairfax and Arlington Counties there is no excuse for the lack of a dedicated bike lane on the Pike other than skewed priorities and the lack of focus on smart growth planning and implementation.

    WE SHOULD BE LEADING the country on developing appropriate/dedicated bicycle lanes given our proximity to the front doorsteps of the US Government and the Pentagon, instead of following in the footsteps of second and third tier metropolitan areas. Perhaps if we changed our mindset, we would have a healthier environment and lower healthcare costs if people used bike lanes to shop, go to work and recreate. Unfortunately, our local municipalities lack the foresight in providing the incentive for making this a desirable transportation mode.

    I am an avid middle-aged cyclist and bike to work once a week but it comes with the high cost of putting my life in serious jeopardy on Columbia Pike. Frequently, I use the recently installed pedestrian/bike lanes when I can, for which I am grateful for but these are spotty in Mason District and once in Arlington, one is limited to sharing a 3-4’ sidewalk with pedestrians, putting walkers and cyclists at risk of collision. I would bike more to work if the commute was not so threatening. VDOT, Fairfax and Arlington-SHAME ON YOU! Perhaps we should not blame the truck driver or the cyclist for this fatality but rather the general public, our elected officials and ignorance for not putting more of an emphasis on cycling as a serious commuting alternative.

  2. She was a friend of ours, and we will miss her dearly. We cannot believe she's gone! We know she's in heaven...the sad thing is that this is a precious life that was taken too soon, and we mourn her loss.

  3. Was a co worker of mine for several years and just couldnt believe it when I heard about this. Beth I hope you rest in peace now that your in a better place. I try my best to watch out for those that are on bikes while im driving and hope that others will too.