Photograph of crash SUV showing damage on right side to headlight, hood, and fender.

​Photograph of crash SUV showing damage on right side to headlight, hood, and fender.​​

Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Sport Utility Vehicle

What Happened

​About 6:17 a.m. on Tuesday, August 30, 2016, a 2008 GMC Yukon sport utility vehicle (SUV), driven by a 69-year-old female, was traveling south in the left southwestbound lane of Richmond Highway (US Route 1) about 9 miles southwest of Alexandria, Virginia. A 56-year-old male pedestrian had walked into the southwestbound lanes from the northwest side of the highway. The pedestrian continued to walk south in the left lane for a short distance until the right front of the SUV struck him, causing fatal injuries. The driver told responding police officers that she did not see the pedestrian until it was too late. Investigators found no evidence of preimpact braking and no postimpact skid marks. The area of impact was 100 feet southwest of the intersection of Richmond Highway and Gregory Drive.

After the collision, the SUV driver stopped in the left southwestbound lane of travel, about 11 feet from the pedestrian. The driver stayed on the scene until the police arrived. The pedestrian came to rest on the roadway in the right-turn lane of southwestbound Richmond Highway near the curb, about 112 feet from the point of impact. The Fairfax County Police Department documented a debris field near the impact point between the pedestrian and the SUV.

​​The temperature at the time of the crash was 75°F, with winds from the north at 10.4 mph and scattered clouds. Sunrise was at 6:35 a.m. The crash occurred during the twilight between 6:08 and 6:37 a.m., and at the time of the event, the sun would have been 4.44° below the horizon. The moon, a waning crescent, had risen at 4:45 a.m. and was 3 percent illuminated.

What We Found

​We determined that the probable cause of the crash outside Alexandria, Virginia, was the pedestrian’s decision to walk in the travel lane of a multilane arterial roadway, in low-light conditions, outside the crosswalk. Contributing to his poor decision-making was impairment from alcohol intoxication.​