Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Mysterious D.C. rampage leaves smashed cars in its wake

November 4, 2011 - 11:33 AM
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Something wicked this way came. (Photo: Courtesy of Scott Bixby)

To drive in the city means facing additional risks. We're all packed in closer, and sometimes, this may mean our cars suffer from more dents, more wear and tear, and frustrating run-ins with our fellow residents.

Yet no city resident has ever imagined quite this level of auto devastation.

One person woke up today in the District and walked outside to find the scene featured in the photo above, which he snapped with his iPhone and gave permission to include here. Cars everywhere were completely smashed. What was to blame? Drunk drivers, perhaps? Roving midnight vandals? Someone who clearly needs to learn how to parallel park better? It's like a hurricane blew through the block. I see at least three cars heavily damaged in the photo, and the damage seems virtually supernatural in its extent. Not only are windows broken but the entire frames of these vehicles have been warped.

"Don't drink and drive," tweeted Scott Bixby earlier this morning, the photographer of the street wreck and a fellow at The New Republic magazine. "Especially if you're driving what I can only assume was a tank down my street last night."

As his friends reacted with astonishment, he soon added, "Not even the half of it. Every car on the block looks like that."

This scene happened on the 1000th block of Euclid Street NW, Bixby tells me. I checked traffic reports and haven't seen anything that looks like it could have been responsible or related. Anyone have any idea what caused all this? Let me know if so.

Update, 4:55 p.m.: People have reacted strongly to these smashed-car photos from Euclid Street throughout the day, with several folks suggesting they're a stunt. Why isn't there more glass? some wondered. John, one person comments, this isn't April Fool's. Others wondered about viral marketing. People speculated about dinosaurs and Transformers and the Hulk when surveying the extensive damage. What could have caused such a wreck? Multiple broadcast news stations began their own investigations.

Well, I can assure you the smashed cars are real and their state was indeed the result of an accident last night, police tell me. I've contacted multiple people in the fire and police departments at different points in the afternoon. Details are still minimal, but the MPD's Officer Paul Metcalf confirmed to me that police have identified the driver responsible for causing the tremendous wreck you can see in the photo above. "The suspect fled on foot," Officer Metcalf told me. Police will be seeking his arrest.

A couple different residents of Euclid street have also confirmed a chaotic accident last night on their block. As one commenter writes, "We heard the noise between 2 and 3 a.m. and initially thought it was a series of explosions or gunshots. I was totally surprised to see that it was a traffic accident. Plenty of our neighbors were up and about too. Thankfully, my car just avoided being hit." Lucky. What a surreal experience to wake up to in the middle of the night.

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