Father of 2 killed in Reston crash after driver runs red light; suspect still at large

One man is dead after another driver ran a red light and crashed into his vehicle on Wednesday night in Fairfax County, Virginia. Police are searching for the driver.

Fairfax County police said that the crash took place at the intersection of Fairfax County Parkway and Walnut Branch Road in Reston around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Authorities said that Andrew Willingham, 37, of Reston, was heading north on Fairfax County Parkway when he had a green arrow and was making a left turn onto Walnut Branch Road. That’s when an SUV traveling south ran the red light and struck Willingham’s vehicle.

Willingham was taken to nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

His sister, Erin Meleney, told news partners NBC Washington that the family was “grateful” that people nearby rushed to help Willingham after the crash.

His family set up a GoFundMe to help his wife and young sons, ages 2 and 4, pay for future expenses.

Police reported that the driver of the SUV was seen running from the scene following the crash.

Police describe the driver as a heavy set Hispanic man with a beard and shaggy hair, standing between 5’6 and 6’0 tall and wearing a black short sleeve shirt over a white undershirt.

Authorities said that they began an extensive search with a K9 unit and a helicopter once they arrived on the scene, but could not locate the suspect.

Detectives said that they believe speed may have been a factor in the crash and are still looking to determine if alcohol was also a factor for the driver of the SUV. Police said that speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors for Willingham.

Anyone with information about this crash is asked to call the police’s Crash Reconstruction Unit at 703-280-0543. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-8477 and by going online.

Police said Willingham is the ninth non-pedestrian related fatality in the county so far this year. At this time last year, there were eight non-pedestrian related fatalities.

Below is the area where the crash took place:

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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