WASHINGTON – Cyclists learning of the accident that left a 65-year-old man injured and a McLean woman charged with drunken driving are still trying to figure out how anyone could have driven for miles along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail.
Fairfax County police arrested 28-year-old Mehak Chopra, of McLean, Saturday night for hitting a cyclist on the trail before making a left turn onto Maple Avenue in Vienna. Witnesses say she had been driving at a high rate of speed on the trail before the accident.
Brittany Roring and Ben Lewis were out for a ride Monday afternoon with Roring’s son Jack in a toddler’s seat on the back of Lewis’ bike. Told of the accident, Roring was shocked. She uses the trail frequently ” because it’s usually safe!”
Lewis said he believed in sharing the road, but when it comes to the W&OD, “We’d prefer that they stay off the bike trails.”
Other cyclists noted that there are bollards at many of the intersections with roads that should prevent drivers from getting onto the trail.
Inside Cocoa Vienna, a chocolate shop just one block from the trail, store owner Sam Aboulhosn shook his head.
“I know people have accidentally turned into it, but realized right away, it wasn’t a road.” Aboulhosn said he was surprised that more people weren’t hurt.
Police say the injured cyclist was taken to the hospital with “serious but not life-threatening injuries.” They did not release the cyclist’s name.
Chopra was charged with driving while intoxicated and felony hit-and-run.