A 25-year-old Arlington woman died Tuesday afternoon after being struck by a large SUV on the southeast side of Washington Circle, family members and city police said Wednesday.
Eyewitnesses said Anh-dao Xuan Huynh was struck by a green SUV Tuesday morning at around 11 a.m. near the intersection of Washington Circle and 23rd Street. Metropolitan Police Department Public Information Officer Hugh Carew confirmed Wednesday that Huynh died at 2:30 p.m,, but said he did not know the exact cause of death.
Beverly Fields, a spokeswoman for the Office of the D.C. Medical Examiner, said she could not confirm if the office received Huynh’s body yesterday, but said the examiner has the body of an unidentified female who died from a traffic accident. She said the body must be claimed before details like exact cause of death are released.
Carew said police do not know whether Huynh was walking in a crosswalk at the time of the incident, and said he knew of no charges being filed in the matter. The driver of the SUV – a green GMC Yukon – is not in custody, and the driver’s name is not being released, Carew said.
“The vehicle stayed on scene; it was not a hit and run,” MPD Officer Kenny Bryson said Wednesday morning.
Senior Larissa Pardo said she was on her way to work around 11 a.m. when she witnessed the incident.
“I thought it was a car hitting a trash can, and I looked over and I saw the back tires roll over this woman’s body,” she said. “She didn’t scream or anything, it was just me and this other woman started screaming and I called 911, but the hospital was right there. They just loaded her up on a stretcher.”
Carew said Tuesday at around 4 p.m. that Huynh was being treated for “non-fatal injuries.” On Wednesday evening, Carew said he had been given incorrect information.
Family members – who said they believe Huynh was on her way to the Foggy Bottom Metro from her job at Embassy Suites when she was hit – gathered at Washington Circle Tuesday night to remember her with candles, balloons and prayer. Staying past 1:30 a.m., family members mourned the young woman who brought “joy, love and happiness” into their hearts.
“I can’t live anymore. I’ve lost my soul,” the deceased’s youngest sister, Trinh Huynh, said. “She wasn’t only my sister, she was my best friend. She understood me better than anyone else in the world.”
Trinh Huynh, 20, said the deceased wanted to be a nurse. GW Hospital Communications Manager Heather Oldham and University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said Wednesday that Huynh was neither an employee nor a student at the University or at GW Hospital.
Huynh’s brother-in-law, Keith Graham, 37, said Huynh was a “sweet spirit” who touched all who knew her.
“She had a personality that attracted everyone,” Graham said. “I worked with her at a hotel years ago and we still have guests come in and ask about her.”
In a 2009 report, the D.C. Department of Transportation wrote that from 2003 to 2005, the District had a “higher rate of pedestrian traffic fatalities (adjusted by population) than many cities nationwide including Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.” An average of 600 pedestrian collisions occur in D.C. each year, according to data from the transportation department. In 2007, 24 pedestrian deaths occurred – a 10-year-high – according to a Washington Post article.
Matt Rist and Sarah Scire contributed to this report.