Two deadly crashes in two hours cause Fairfax Police to step up patrols

A bicyclist and a pedestrian were killed in separate crashes in the Mount Vernon section of Fairfax County in the span of two hours on Thursday, increasing the number of deadly crashes involving cyclists and pedestrians by 33 percent for the year. 

There have now been eight so far this year.

Police say a woman was riding her bike just after 11 a.m. when she was struck and killed near the intersection of Telegraph and Franconia roads.

READ MORE: Bicyclist struck, killed by vehicle in Alexandria section of Fairfax County

Then, around 1:15 p.m, a man walking was hit by a car about two miles away on South Kings Highway and Southgate Dr.

Sgt. Tara Gerhard said the county’s traffic enforcement unit will assist neighborhood patrols in ramping enforcement in the Mount Vernon district.

"In addition to these extra patrols, we are doing some public safety messaging through our social media platforms on Facebook, Nextdoor and Twitter," said Gerhard.

For now, police haven’t identified the two victims or indicated what caused the crashes. They say both drivers involved stayed on the scene.

READ MORE: Bicyclist struck and killed by vehicle in Centreville area of Fairfax County identified

That wasn’t the case in another deadly crash last month. Police are still searching for the driver who hit Allen Romero, 43, the day before his birthday.

Tori Emerson Barnes was friends for decades with Romero.

"He was my daughter’s Godfather, but I think he was Godfather to many, many more because of his great faith," said Barnes. "His loss continues to be so devastating for us. That’s why we’re desperate to find out who was driving the vehicle."

Romero died May 16 on Leesburg Pike and Redberry Court in Great Falls just before 5:30 a.m. Police are searching for a 2017 black Ford Fusion. They say the driver’s side mirror of the car was found at the scene.

READ MORE: Woman sexually assaulted at Dollar Tree in Annandale; Fairfax County police seek witnesses

"Due to the devastating fact of the vehicle leaving the scene and not stopping, additional vehicles, unfortunately, also hit Allen," said Barnes.

So far this year, Fairfax County has seen eight crashes that have killed people walking or biking, one more than last year at this time.

But one significant change is that the county has gone five years without a cyclist death until recently.

In addition to the woman killed Thursday, Raymond Buza, 64, was killed two weeks ago in Centreville.

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"Cycling was his primary passion, as was following the Caps and Nats," his son said. "He worked as a systems engineer on a number of critical national security programs, and was genuinely loved by anyone who was lucky enough to know him."