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2 dead in Canal Road crash

January 14, 2011 - 05:33 AM
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UPDATE 12:22 p.m.: Two people died when a pick-up truck collided with a car between Reservoir Road and Clark Place NW early Friday morning. The accident shut down Canal Road for much of the morning.

An 19-year-old driver and his passenger inside the pick-up truck survived the crash with non-life threatening injuries, but two men inside a Jaguar died on the scene.

“I can’t believe that. That’s awful, really, really, awful,” said Amy Bischoff, driver.

Police say the Jaguar was traveling northbound on Canal Road when it crossed over into the southbound lanes. They’re investigating whether icy conditions were a factor in the wreck.

“There's kind of a curve there on Canal Road. And it is somewhat icy, it's melted now that the sun has come up,” said D.C. police spokesperson Mike Reese.

As police searched for clues, a salt truck was brought in. All morning, drivers were diverted to alternative routes, some resulting in traffic backups that made many commuters an hour or more late.

“It's one of those days I decided to drive in a bit late and I got caught up in it,” said Norbert Valle, commuter.

Drivers in the area say they’re familiar with icy patches along Canal Road.

“Constantly, down here by Fletcher's boat house there's water seeping out of the ground, some kind of sewage or something, constantly coming out, and it's been there since the first of December,” said Lynn Cook, Exxon gas station attendant.

A few say, when necessary, they avoid the roadway all together.

“If I think it's gonna be icy, I come a different way,” said Margo Cook, driver.

Police say this crash should serve as a reminder that drivers need to be alert.

“With the temperatures and the road conditions anywhere, any street, just slow down and make sure when you go around the curve you just have to be mindful,” Reese said.

The identities of the victims have not been released, but police say they range in ages, between 19 and 40.

UPDATE 11:45 a.m.: DDOT and D.C. Fire & EMS report that Canal Road and surrounding roads affected by the morning accident have been cleared and all lanes reopened.

UPDATE 7:26 a.m.: DDOT is advising travelers to avoid Canal Road this morning. Canal Road remains closed in both directions between Arizona Avenue and Foxhall Road. MacArthur Boulevard is open but motorists can expect heavy traffic and delays.

UPDATE 7:00 a.m.: A 19-year-old driver and his passenger survived the accident, ABC7 reports.

UPDATE 6:24 a.m.: This was a head-on collision between two vehicles, D.C. police said. 

Icy conditions were a factor in the wreck, a victim's father told ABC7 News.

UPDATE 6:18 a.m.: DC Fire confirms two people were pronounced dead on arrival and two others were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The accident occurred around 5 a.m. Friday.

UPDATE 5:56 a.m.: Police say the accident involved a car and a van. 

A Major Crash Investigation Unit has been requested.

UPDATE 5:48 a.m.: D.C. police say two people were killed in the accident.

Canal Road is closed in both directions and will remain closed through this morning's rush hour.

Eastbound traffic is being diverted onto Reservoir Road and westbound traffic is being diverted onto Foxhall Road.  


D.C. police are investigating a serious crash on Canal Road between Clark Place and Reservoir Road in Northwest.

No further details were immediately available. Check back for updates.

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