The 5-year-old girl struck and killed in a crosswalk by a van while riding her bike in Northeast D.C. on Monday night has been identified.
In a news release, D.C. police said Allison Hart, of Northeast, was struck and killed around 7 p.m. by a Royal Cab Transit van headed east on Irving Street at the intersection with 14th Street in Brookland.
Police said the van came “to a complete stop” and proceeded “through a stop sign” when Hart “was unable to stop her bicycle and entered the intersection into the path of the moving vehicle.”
The driver of the van remained on the scene, police said.
Prita Piekara, an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for the area, told WTOP that from what was shared with her, the girl was on her bicycle trailing behind her father. They were crossing the intersection.
“And the assumption was that because the van was up so high, and she was such a small girl, that the driver of the van just simply didn’t see her” and proceeded through, Piekara said.
Piekara said the neighborhood has lots of single-family homes, churches and schools. “Just a really residential, close-knit community,” she said.
Members of the community have been doing their part to request safety measures, she said, adding, “13th Street and 14th Street, this incident happened on 14th. But those two are particularly prone to really high speeding rates.”
“People just blow right down those roads, both from Rhode Island, toward Monroe Street and the other way, but it has been an ongoing thing for the community,” Piekara said.
Ward 6 D.C. Council member Charles Allen, who chairs The Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, tweeted that if the District’s Vision Zero Initiative “can’t ensure a child can safely ride her bike in a neighborhood, we must make major changes to do better.”
“This can never be accepted as part of life in DC,” Allen tweeted.
Last night around 7 pm, a 5-y-o girl was killed by a driver. Her family suffers an unimaginable loss. If #visionzerodc can’t ensure a child can safely ride her bike in a neighborhood, we must make major changes to do better. This can never be accepted as part of life in DC.
— Charles Allen (@charlesallen) September 14, 2021
“From everything I’ve heard, (the family) did everything right. They did everything you’re supposed to do. The child wasn’t left unattended. They were using a crosswalk. It was a well-lit area … What else can we say that you can do to protect yourself and protect your family from something like this happening,” Piekara said.
She is calling for looking at D.C. infrastructure and looking at roads holistically instead of a piecemeal approach.
“I really would encourage (the District Department of Transportation) to work with the ANC, work with community members, to really take a step back and say what what should this entire plan look like, rather than saying we can’t have a stop sign because one’s already at the next intersection? You know? Where do we need the calming measures? What else can we do?” Piekara said.
WTOP has reached out to the Department of For-Hire Vehicles to confirm that the van was operating as a D.C. Neighborhood Connect Vehicle.
WTOP’s Scott Gelman and Abigail Constantino contributed to this report.