Routine Traffic Violation Ends in Police Chase Near Herndon High School

The driver of an SUV fled after Herndon police tried to pull them over, eventually striking another car.

An SUV led a Herndon police officer on a pursuit in the Herndon Parkway and Dranesville Road area after the officer attempted to stop the driver for a routine traffic violation at about 7:15 this morning. 

The pursuit ended in the area of Herndon High School. The SUV drove northbound at a high rate of speed, running a red light at the intersection of Dranesville Road and Wiehle Avenue, striking a vehicle at the intersection. 

The driver of the SUV lost control, rolling the vehicle several times before coming to a stop. The driver and a passenger in the SUV were taken to the hospital with unknown injuries. No one else was injured in the accident. 

Herndon High School Principal William Bates sent out a notice to HHS parents letting them know about the accident. He said the car struck by the SUV was a student's car, but the student was not hurt and parents were notified. He also noted that a medevac helicopter landed at the school to take the driver of the SUV to the hospital. 

Herndon police said the Fairfax County Police Crash Reconstruction Unit is at work at the scene. The investigation is ongoing.  

CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION - Jan. 8 at 1:55 p.m.: The officer in pursuit of the SUV ended the chase prior to approaching the high school area, though the SUV continued driving northbound on Dranesville Road where the driver eventually crashed. 

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Laurie Dodd January 08, 2013 at 04:46 PM
As an HHS parent who received the email from Principal Bates outlining the basic information that was available at the time, I appreciate being able to get an update from Patch. Both forms of communication are very valuable to parents concerned about the safety of their kids. I hope the driver and passenger have nothing more than minor injuries.
Karen Goff January 08, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Thanks, Laurie.
Kristin January 08, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Agreed. Thanks for the great communication HHS. With that being said and safety being of the utmost concern ... why would the police engage in a high speed pursuit down Dranesville Road at prime rush hour time for our kids going to high school? In this day and age, there are many ways to catch people in a safer matter at a later time. My children were on Dranesville Road driving to school at that same time. NO ONE's safety is ever worth risking over a traffic violation!
kristina alcorn January 08, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Does anyone know if this is related to the burglaries (and the helicopter circling) in the Shaker Woods area last night?
El January 08, 2013 at 06:52 PM
Apparently the drive did not want to be stopped. Wonder why? No license, expired license, intoxicated, running from ICE?
Leslie Perales Loges (Editor) January 08, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Kristin - The town contacted me and I've added some clarification on this point. The police actually stopped chasing the SUV prior to approaching Herndon High School, but the driver of the SUV continued on and eventually crashed.
Leslie Perales Loges (Editor) January 08, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Kristina I don't have any information on that now, but more information may come out later in the investigation.
Uncle Smartypants January 08, 2013 at 07:18 PM
Yes! Let us speculate wildly with with racist overtones with almost no actual information! I bet he was the leader of an Al-Queda terrorist cell! He is part of a sleeper cell planning to blow up that big concrete thingy at the end of the Lake Anne promenade!
BD January 08, 2013 at 07:52 PM
The Herndon Town limit is right by HHS and this probably has more to do with the HPD dropping the chase than an abundance of concern for safety. Jurisdiction rights vary, but typically do not permit entering another jurisdiction in high-speed pursuit without having it cleared first and the crime being such to warrant the continued pursuit. A high speed pursuit in rush hour traffic for a "routine traffic violation" is not a reasonable response. Use the dash camera to capture the license plate and track them down later.
Herndon Native January 08, 2013 at 08:12 PM
BD, obviously you don't have a clue about police pursuit policies...you've been watching too many movies. "Darn, I'm at the state line, I can't go any further", lol!
Herndon Native January 08, 2013 at 08:16 PM
Uncle Smartypants, while I think your humor about the big "thingy" at Lake Anne is funny...I must say that El is probably correct, on all counts.
Herndon Native January 08, 2013 at 08:21 PM
Kristin, you should try being a cop sometime, then maybe you'll be able to answer your own question. You know how horrible those cops are, always endangering all of the precious kids...sheesh.
BD January 08, 2013 at 08:56 PM
Actually, I'd hazard a guess that I have far more knowledge on the subject than you and if you had taken even just a moment or two before posting your trolling drivel you may have been able to minimally educate yourself on the subject. Every LE agency has strict police pursuit policies and those have become increasingly restrictive over the years due to risk to the public and advances in technology which have reduced the need for high speed pursuits. Come back once you have an education and some actual knowledge to share - I feel it unfair to debate an unarmed opponent.
Kristin January 08, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Glad to hear that we have such a quality "Herndon Native" in the area ...YIKES!!!
Christine Hatch January 08, 2013 at 09:18 PM
The police did not pursue the SUV, but the SUV driver kept the high rate of speed up the whole time. So police are not to blame. How are they to know that when they pull someone over they will take off and put everyone at risk.
Herndon Native January 08, 2013 at 09:26 PM
No, BD, I highly doubt that you do...but I'll let you pretend to be the pursuit policy guru if it makes you feel better.
Herndon Native January 08, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Kristin, thanks! Actually, most of the natives are fantastic people.
S - Herndon January 08, 2013 at 09:40 PM
I share your thoughts Laurie. Hoping that everyone recovers.
S - Herndon January 08, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Native, Kristin was only speculating, not accusing. Let's let it go and focus on what's really important. The awesomeness of Herndon residents.
PO January 09, 2013 at 12:38 AM
As a police officer I can tell you that the pursuit was actually terminated well before Drainsville intersection because of the driver heading toward Herndon High School area in rush hour....that was the only reason. Second, HPD can pursuit all the way to DC or Maryland if it came to that, no reason to terminated because of jurisdiction lines. Get informed and educated.
Leslie Perales Loges (Editor) January 09, 2013 at 02:02 AM
HPD Chief Maggie DeBoard speaking in the Herndon Town Council work session on this tonight. She said the chase was terminated specifically because it was approaching the area near HHS and they didn't want to endanger school-related traffic.
Tammy Klinefelter Bane January 09, 2013 at 02:18 AM
The Reston Patch: Answer on why the FCPD chopper was flying at 5:30 am today - burglary on Gilman Ct in Herndon. They did not find suspect. #nowyouknow.
Dave Webster January 09, 2013 at 09:31 AM
I would like to congratulate the Herndon Police on making the decision to terminate the pursuit as the suspect neared Herndon High School. It was the right thing to do.
Cheryl January 09, 2013 at 11:42 AM
PO, thank you for that thoughts because the driver on his way to HHS was my son. This morning I sit in silence and pray.
Laurie Dodd January 09, 2013 at 11:52 AM
He must have been shaken by the incident. Was he physically injured at all?
FG January 09, 2013 at 04:54 PM
Straw man argument, you're speculating and then condemning based on your own speculation. That's not real helpful.
SBW January 10, 2013 at 03:36 AM
what kind of suv were these people driving?
Dana Harold January 10, 2013 at 04:42 AM
Is everyone OK? Especially the student? I have heard no follow up on this. It was very scary.
Leslie Perales Loges (Editor) January 10, 2013 at 05:43 AM
DH - This is from the original article: "Herndon High School Principal William Bates sent out a notice to HHS parents letting them know about the accident. He said the car struck by the SUV was a student's car, but the student was not hurt and parents were notified." The student in the car that was struck was not hurt.
Douglas Manuel January 11, 2013 at 04:33 AM
Okay, riddle me this, why is the name of the driver who is to blame for this instance apparently shielded from having his/her name released? We hear lots of talk of protecting the public, yet it appears we are not allowed to know who the actual threat is. Wouldn’t a good first step be to make these people accountable for their actions?


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