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Alexandria Man, Dog Killed Crossing Street

By Jamie Stockwell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 23, 2005; Page B02

Michael Finucan was a cautious man, his wife said, not one to try to cross a busy, dimly lighted street in the pouring rain. So it baffles her that he did just that early yesterday while walking the family's dog.

As they crossed the 3800 block of Duke Street in Alexandria about 6:20 a.m., Finucan, 52, and the mixed-breed named Carly were struck and killed by a car. The driver, an 18-year-old woman from Springfield who was not identified, stopped right away, police said.

"There are a lot of what-ifs right now," Kathleen L. Finucan said in a telephone interview, her voice trailing and unsteady. "What if the woman had been at another light? What if he had taken a different route? What if he hadn't decided to cross the street at that time?"

Alexandria police said Finucan, of the unit block of Cockrell Street, was not in a crosswalk when he and Carly crossed the eastbound lanes of Duke Street, a heavily traveled east-west artery that cuts through the city. Finucan was taken by ambulance to Inova Alexandria Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, they said.

Amy Bertsch, an Alexandria police spokeswoman, said it did not appear that the driver exceeded the posted 35-mph limit.

She said crash reconstruction investigators will look at such things as weather conditions, visibility and driver or pedestrian error in the city's first traffic fatality this year.

In 2004, Alexandria had three traffic fatalities, including one pedestrian death.

Duke Street was closed yesterday in both directions for much of the morning. It reopened about 11:30 a.m.

Finucan, an accountant at the Office of Personnel Management for at least 20 years, was following his usual morning routine when he was killed, his wife said. She said he enjoyed walking with Carly, a 3-year-old Labrador retriever mix they adopted from the Alexandria animal shelter last May.

"He was just an all-around wonderful guy. He was a wonderful father and a wonderful husband," said Kathleen Finucan, 51.

"He loved children. He loved dogs. If he was here, he would be saying he was sorry that we had to go through this," she said.

The couple have an 8-year-old daughter, who made her first Holy Communion two weeks ago. Finucan was so proud, she said. Also a few weeks ago, Kathleen Finucan underwent thyroid surgery, and her husband had to lead two meetings of the Brownies, of which their daughter is a member.

"He never complained, not once," she said, adding that in 13 years of marriage, she had never filled up the car gas tank. It was something he took care of, she said, because he "took care of the family."

Kathleen Finucan said she didn't have time to worry about her husband yesterday morning because, being the cautious man he was, he always carried his identification with him. The police knocked on her door and told her about the crash within minutes of its happening.

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