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Bicyclist Recovering from Serious Injuries After Hit and Run on W&OD Trail

Witnesses recall alleged drunk driver traveling at 50 miles per hour before exiting onto Maple Avenue and being stopped by Vienna police.

The bicyclist struck by an alleged drunk driver Saturday on the W&OD Trail in Vienna is recovering at a local hospital Sunday from several serious injuries.

The victim, a 65-year-old man from the Vienna area, was riding on the trail toward Vienna around 8:30 p.m. Saturday when a 2005 Toyota — allegedly driven by Mehak Chopra, 28, of McLean — struck him from behind.

The man was thrown from his bicycle and landed on the shoulder of the trail, Fairfax County Police Department spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said. He has several serious injuries, but non are life-threatening.

  • Read: Car Hits Bicyclist on W&OD Trail in Vienna

The car had allegedly been traveling on the trail for a few miles before it hit the cyclist. Police now believe the car entered the trail somewhere near the Vienna/Reston area, Caldwell said. It traveled some five miles at a high rate of speed, hitting the cyclist and continuing onto Maple Avenue, where it turned left and attempted to continue driving toward Tysons.

Vienna police — who had received several calls from witnesses reporting they had jumped out of the car's path  — stopped the vehicle on Maple Avenue. The car was damaged, Caldwell said.

Chopra was arrested by Vienna police for driving while intoxicated and taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. There, Fairfax County police charged her with felony hit and run.

Several witnesses wrote to Patch about their experience, which left them rattled, worried about the cyclist and thankful they didn't become victims as well.

Veronica Spina was walking her dog near Church Street when she saw the car "coming very fast."

"At first I thought it was a police car. Then when I saw how fast it was coming and swurving [sic] down the path, I had to jump into the bushes (full of poison ivy) with my little cockapoo to avoid getting hit. It missed me by less than a foot. I feel very lucky to be alive today," she wrote.

Witnesses recalled seeing the car anywhere from Creek Crossing to Mill Street, some of them by themselves but others with several children in tow.

Jeffrey Mosher was on the trail with his two kids and their friend a bit west of Creeks Crossing and walking east toward Vienna.

"The car came up behind us ... doing about 40mph and we jumped into the bushes. The car slipped off the trail onto the gravel and almost went out of control. My daughter was still scared over a half hour later. A very scary sight indeed!" he wrote.

Veronique Klimonda said she and her boyfriend were at the Town Green when the car came down the bike trail and turned left onto Maple Avenue.

"We heard a loud noise and then saw a car barreling down the trail at a high speed. The driver, a young woman, hit an object at the intersection before suddenly turning left and almost causing a crash on Maple. We think she blew a tire just before turning."

Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.

andrewi31 June 03, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Investigative journalism for what? Aneesh Chopra has two little girls, not some 28 year old. How about just leaving them alone?
11 June 03, 2013 at 04:25 PM
So, she passed the red cabose, got off the trail to cross Church Street, and then got back on the trail, passing the town green, and made a left on Maple Avenue? Wow
Erica R. Hendry June 03, 2013 at 09:22 PM
Another update posted: http://vienna.patch.com/articles/woman-accused-in-w-od-hit-and-run-held-without-bond
mdicicco June 04, 2013 at 01:39 AM
I agree - this has happened too often lately to not be addressed. A post could easily be removed by Town of VA, utilities, etc. when they need access for vehicles for repairs, etc.
John Smith June 04, 2013 at 12:33 PM
andrewu31, you're absolutely right; my question/comment truly was not appropriate. Hereby plead guilty to being an obnoxious, nosey gadfly. Sorry.

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