A car crash left behind a trail of destruction Saturday in Northeast Washington, including damage to a memorial honoring a cyclist who died weeks earlier at the same location.
At 4:08 a.m., a Chevrolet Tahoe struck a light pole and a parked car near where 12th and K streets NE and Florida Avenue come together, according to police spokeswoman Kristen Metzger. Photos posted to social media show the Tahoe also barreled through a black metal gate and damaged several trees before coming to rest in a yard near a residential building.
The driver of the Tahoe fled the scene, Metzger said.
Minutes later, a man who “appeared to be intoxicated on an unknown substance” showed up at a fire station two blocks away, seeking help, she said. The man, who refused to identify himself, was taken to a hospital. It was not immediately clear if he was connected to the crash, which remains under investigation, Metzger said.
The memorial — a “ghost bike” painted white — was erected last month in honor of Dave Salovesh, a well-known D.C. cyclist and safety activist who was killed in the intersection by the driver of a stolen minivan on April 19, authorities said.
The bike, which had been attached to the light pole, was sent “flying through the air” by the crash, said Blaise Marion.
Marion, who lives near the intersection, said he was sleeping when a “big bang” woke him. When he went outside in his pajamas and flip-flops, he saw that the ghost bike and pole were gone. He found them about 50 feet away, in the middle of a grassy median.
The two crashes one month apart are a sign that the intersection is unsafe and needs to be redesigned, Marion said.
“We’ve been saying for 10 years now that this intersection is a death trap,” he said. “Luckily, nobody died yesterday, but it could have happened. Right now, a little kid’s birthday party is happening right where the car landed. If [the crash] happened today, you might have five or six kids dead.”