They each died while on a walk.
A Silver Spring man dragged a mile by a car after trying to cross a busy road toward a bus stop.
A 76-year-old Korean immigrant known at her church for handing out parish bulletins, killed in another hit-and-run in Reston.
A 5-month-old boy, being pushed by his mother in a stroller in a crosswalk in Loudoun County, when an SUV fatally struck him and injured her.
Eight pedestrians were fatally struck by vehicles in the Washington region in August, part of a growing number of deadly incidents authorities reported nationally. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of pedestrians killed jumped 9.5 percent between 2014 and 2015, the highest number since 1996.
“The odds are not in your favor when you’re a pedestrian,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president of the National Safety Council, an advocacy group.
Around the District, the number of pedestrian fatalities over the past five years remained relatively steady at around 50 to 60 each year, according to police and transportation officials. This year, there have been at least 30.
Officials point to various causes, including speeding, intoxicated drivers, pedestrians darting across roads, and drivers and pedestrians distracted by electronic devices.
Nationwide, lower gas prices and upticks in the economy may be putting more drivers on the road, transportation experts say, while a push to encourage “walkable communities” — where people walk, bike and ride public transportation — has more pedestrians afoot.
In the suburbs, that has meant more people walking in areas only now being retrofitted with sidewalks and bike lanes.
“More and more, we’re seeing pedestrians in areas where drivers aren’t always expecting them,” said Tom Gianni, chief of Maryland’s Highway Safety Office.
Adjusting to the shift involves engineering such additions as medians and traffic lights, enforcing traffic laws, and educating drivers and pedestrians.
For Mindy Schulz, the Loudoun mother whose infant son was killed, talking about that late August day is difficult. But she said she hopes that sharing some of her experience will build a “human connection to the unfathomable grief” endured by families in the pedestrian crashes and encourage road safety.
Some neighbors and friends have tended a memorial of flowers and messages near where her son, Tristan, was killed. Others started a campaign of blue ribbons and magnets reading “Drive Safe — Save a Life for Tristan.”
“Grief of this magnitude is not just sadness,” she said in an email. “It is not just something to ‘get through’ or ‘get over. . . . The longing and emptiness are forever.”
Jeremais Herrera Rodriguez had a stomach-churning sense he said he hadn’t felt before.
“If something happens to me, I want you to promise me that our family will be taken care of,” Herrera Rodriguez, 44, said abruptly to his stepdaughter, Sandy Castro, 25.
Herrera Rodriguez wasn’t one to joke about such things.
He had immigrated from Guatemala nine years earlier, leaving his wife, son and two daughters. His wife uses a wheelchair because of arthritis, and the cost of her treatments and private schooling for his children were beyond a farmhand’s means.
Herrera Rodriguez was illiterate and hoped that education would spare his children the hunger and humiliation he had suffered. He worked days as a dishwasher at Warehouse Bar & Grill in Alexandria. At 4 p.m., he’d call his wife. An hour later, he would start a busboy job at Chart House, also in Alexandria, where he worked until midnight. He did this six days a week.
On Aug. 2, Herrera Rodriguez was cleaning outside the Warehouse’s kitchen door. Nearby, a 92-year-old man was trying to back into a parking space but pinned an attendant before accelerating and hitting Herrera Rodriguez, police said. The man was charged with reckless driving.
Castro’s phone was on vibrate when a friend tried to reach her about the accident, and she realized only later that she had missed calls. “I felt my whole world crashing on me.”
She remembered her promise to Herrera Rodriguez a day earlier. His co-workers and the community covered the cost of returning her father home, but Castro is daunted by what lies ahead.
“I ask myself, will God give me the strength?”
— Arelis R. Hernández
A 911 call about a struck pedestrian sent Montgomery County officers scrambling to a six-lane road, where they found a gray Converse sneaker, a pack of Big Red gum and a blood trail.
But no pedestrian.
Within minutes, another 911 call, from Homecrest Road. There, police found the body of Julius Newton, 77, wearing a matching Converse and, beside him, another pack of Big Red. His body had been dragged a mile by the car that hit him.
The hit-and-run death remains unsolved.
The 5-foot-9, 150-pound retiree had left his townhouse to walk about a mile to a 7-Eleven for snacks for himself and his family and, weighed down by the bags, probably tried to cross Layhill Road to take the No. 26 bus home.
Newton made it across two lanes. The car – thought to be a Honda Accord from between 1993 and 1997 — slowed, then sped off.
“By running, by not stepping forward, all the driver is doing is making things worse for me and my family,” said Quanzet Newton, a grandson.
His grandfather was born in North Carolina and came to Washington as a teen.
He operated a forklift, then worked in a Frito-Lay plant. In retirement, he enjoyed gospel performances and daily walks, including the runs for treats.
“I have something for you,” he’d tell neighborhood kids and relatives, handing them a stick of gum.
“This right here is for you.”
— Dan Morse
Armin Amin worked his whole life to run his own restaurant, his family said. In 2014, he finally achieved that goal when Chaplin’s opened in the Shaw neighborhood.
Amin, 44, left the restaurant that morning to walk a friend to her car when he was struck by a Mercedes-Benz. The police investigation is continuing.
“How can we move on?” his mother, Aziza Amin, said a few weeks after the crash.
Amin, the son of immigrants from Iran, grew up in Potomac.
A big, gregarious guy known for hosting up to 50 people at Thanksgiving, he had wanted to open a restaurant since he was 18 and worked a number of jobs in the industry.
His sister, Arzin Amin, called him a “gentle giant” some knew as “Big Daddy Persia.”
“I didn’t just lose my brother,” she said. “I lost my best friend.”
Amin’s death didn’t just leave his close-knit family and 11-year-old daughter bereft. Chaplin’s is struggling, too.
“My partner and I are doing our best to fill his shoes, but we built this restaurant — Chaplin’s and company — together,” Ari Wilder, one of Amin’s partners, said.
Jana Tayengco, who was with Amin when he was killed, said he was the kind of guy who would buy dinner for homeless people on the street, even remembering their preferred orders.
“He was just the most generous, the best person I knew,” she said.
“. . . He did things for so many people that no one knew about.”
Amin’s father, Samad Amin, found it hard to describe the pain.
“I lost my heart,” he said.
— Justin Wm. Moyer
David Narvaez was many things: a Habitat for Humanity volunteer, a Johns Hopkins-trained economist, a bartender.
Walking through Dupont Circle, he became the victim of an unsolved hit-and-run.
Nancy Paddleford, Narvaez’s mother, said hundreds came out for his funeral in Northfield, Minn., where he grew up.
“It was a tremendous outpouring because he was . . . very open to other people and listened and talked well,” she said.
Narvaez, 29, had started bartending at Lucky Bar in Dupont after he graduated from Johns Hopkins, and he had passed a key exam in his quest to become a financial analyst less than two weeks before he was killed.
Paul Lusty, the owner of Lucky Bar, said Narvaez worked there for a year and a half and was “a fantastic guy.”
“He was just a sweet, laid-back, smart gentleman, and we miss him dearly,” he added.
— Justin Wm. Moyer
Hung Soon Seo, known as Clara to friends at St. Paul Chung Catholic Church in Fairfax, would pass out bulletins for the 8 a.m. Sunday Mass, arriving as much as an hour early.
She would stay and distribute the church notices again before the 10 a.m. service — a routine that made Seo familiar to many despite her quiet demeanor, said Agnes Suk, the church secretary and bookkeeper.
At 76, Seo was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver near the intersection of North Shore Drive at Village Road in Reston. The investigation continues.
Like Seo, Suk’s father, Kwang, lived at Lake Anne Fellowship House, an apartment community for disabled seniors. Suk said her father recalled passing Seo near an elevator less than an hour before she was struck.
Seo came to the United States from South Korea in 1988. She joined her church in 2002 and volunteered with the church “prayer teams,” Suk said, visiting nursing homes to deliver food and pray with residents. “She was willing to help any other people,” said Theresa Kim, a close friend of Seo’s who said Seo liked to sing, travel and cook traditional Korean food.
Though frail, Kim said, her friend had a hearty spirit.
— Jasper Scherer
Aaron Nelson McCullough, 56, served honorably in the Army, his brother said. He could talk with anyone and meticulously studied up on presidential elections.
But Carl McCullough also said his brother struggled with drugs and alcohol for decades.
Those two sides will be how Carl McCullough remembers his brother, who was struck by an SUV while crossing Route 1 in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County.
Carl McCullough said the incident occurred about eight blocks from his brother’s home, where he lived alone, and as he was crossing the road to catch a bus to work at Blue & White Carry Out. He was divorced and is survived by a daughter.
“Whatever group of people were around, he was a social person,” Carl McCullough said. “He was an intelligent person. He was an ardent reader of National Geographic.”
Aaron McCullough grew up in Concord, N.C., the youngest of 10 children, his brother said. He served in the Army as a younger man and later joined the National Guard.
Aaron McCullough moved to Virginia when he got into trouble with drugs and drinking about 25 years ago, his brother said.
Aaron McCullough had gone through rehab here.
Carl McCullough said police told him that the SUV driver would not be charged.
— Justin Jouvenal
Mindy Schulz had just dropped her 7-year-old son, Hayden, off at school and decided to get some exercise and fresh air with her 5-month-old boy, Tristan.
Less than a mile from their Lansdowne home, as she pushed him in his stroller through a crosswalk along Riverside Parkway, they were struck by an SUV.
Schulz was injured. Her baby died.
“It hurts at a level so visceral, so primal, that just surviving the pain and darkness of that loss feels insurmountable,” Schulz wrote in an email. “This is what we try to process every moment of every day.”
In an obituary she wrote, she described Tristan as “the absolute joy in our hearts,” noting how eager her son Hayden was for the baby’s arrival.
“He was just learning his voice, and boisterously had much to say about everything!” his mother said. She said he enjoyed bouncing and “was so proud of himself as his legs grew stronger to stand.”
His mother wrote that Tristan “reserved his biggest laughs for his dad, especially at pre-bath playtime.” And his biggest smiles “were only for his big brother.”
“His warmest cuddles, coos and sweet smiles were reserved for his mamma whose arms are empty now without her baby boy.”
Schulz keeps a few things on her nightstand in her son’s memory.
There is a sleeper with teddy bears on it that he wore, and a small sculpture of a family with a blue-winged angel baby. There is also a small black velvet bag. Inside, she said, are “my baby’s ashes.”
— Dana Hedgpeth
When the surgeon general urged Americans to walk more, Simon Eng, a captain with the U.S. Health Service and a pharmacist, took up his boss’s challenge.
At 65, he bought a Fitbit and spent nights logging steps in his Potomac neighborhood as he trained for next year’s Army 10-miler road race.
Eng was less than a mile from his home on Bells Mill Road when he was hit by a Lexus LS 430 sedan.
The driver stopped and the investigation continues.
About 100 neighbors, friends and federal co-workers gathered days later to mourn a man they recalled as reliable, helpful and always ready with a smile and something funny to say.
“I am going to miss him for a very long time,” said Sukhamaya Bain, who worked with Eng at the Food and Drug Administration.
Eng served 25 years in the public health service after completing a pharmacy degree from the University of Maryland and a doctorate from the University of Florida.
Colleagues said that Eng knew hundreds throughout his agency and mentored many. “He was one in a million,” said his supervisor at the agency, Bing Cai.
For his wife and two sons, Eng took care of paying the bills and maintaining the family cars, the lawn and his prized garden. He doled out warm advice, including to four sisters from his native Hong Kong.
“He was just in that mode his entire life.
“He was trying to help people,” his son, David Eng, 30, said.
— Clarence Williams
Jennifer Jenkins and Victoria St. Martin contributed to this report.