WASHINGTON, DC - Authorities say two people have been arrested after two D.C. police officers and a District Department of Transportation employee were struck by a pickup truck Thursday night in Adams Morgan.
D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham says just before 9 p.m., a white pickup truck traveling at a high rate of speed hit two bicycle patrol officers on duty and a traffic control aide on 18th Street in Northwest D.C.
One of the officers is in very critical condition, according to Newsham. The other officer and the worker suffered serious injuries, but are believed to be non-life-threatening.
After striking the officers, the truck proceeded through the intersection and ended up hitting a large unoccupied dump truck parked on the roadway just past Columbia Road. Two people in the pickup truck were placed under arrest and taken to the hospital.
Chief Newsham said in a news conference that a weapon was recovered from the striking vehicle.
When asked if this incident may be terrorism-related, Newsham said, "We have to look at that very closely. We do not have a motive at this time."
Several FBI agents were seen arriving at the scene on 18th Street late Thursday night.
Two Police Officers, DPW Employee Struck By Pick-Up Truck In Adams Morgan
by Rachel Sadon in News on Jun 8, 2017 10:47 pm
(Photos by Lauren Landau)
By Rachel Sadon and Lauren Landau
A D.C. police officer is in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle in Adams Morgan. A second police officer and a traffic patrol aide were also hit, and they both have serious but non-life threatening injuries.
The driver of a white pick-up truck was traveling "at a high rate of speed" on 18th Street NW before striking two bike patrol officers and the Department of Public Works employee, according to D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham. After hitting the officers, the vehicle traveled further down the street before hitting a truck and coming to rest in the 1800 block of Adams Mill Road.
The driver and a second person in the vehicle were both arrested on the scene, and police recovered a weapon. MPD has not yet identified a motive and cannot rule out terrorism at this time, Newsham said at a press conference at Washington MedStar Hospital, where the officers are being treated.
"You got two of our officers doing exactly what we ask them to do in the Adams Morgan community," Newsham said. "Thankfully nobody else was injured, but I have two of my officers in there unnecessarily in the hospital. It's the last thing the chief of police wants to have to do is come to the hospital when one of their officers is critically injured."
D.C. Fire and EMS reported that a total of five people were transported to the hospital; three with critical injuries, one serious, and another with "lesser" injuries. Hazmat units were deployed to the scene to handle spilled fluids.
Witnesses said that the vehicle was barreling through the nightlife district, swerving into an oncoming lane of traffic.
"He zoomed around the bus... I guess he got tired of waiting, and drove into the lane of oncoming traffic," said Danielle Styles, who was in town from Atlanta, Georgia. Styles was with a friend, whose grandmother had just dropped them off after celebrating her 71st birthday. "She almost got hit."
Devon Wilson watched, horrified, as the second officer was struck. "He was airborne—he flew. He hit the ground and actually rolled several times before he came to a standstill," says Wilson, who is visiting from Tennessee for the weekend. "I really hope that he's okay, because he flew so far and got hit so hard."
After striking the officers, the pick-up truck kept barreling down 18th Street. Wilson said it appeared to even speed up afterward. Eventually it struck a much larger truck and came to a stop.
JP Marsten was inside the Philz Coffee at the time, picking up the compost, and came out to find that the truck he'd purchased earlier the same day had been the white pick-up's final obstacle. "If this truck wasn't here, he would’ve gone through the glass," Marsten said. "He would’ve been in there or hit people on the sidewalk."
18th Street NW is currently closed to both vehicles and pedestrians between Columbia Road and California Street.