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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "dave dildine"

Highway hero averts disaster at Springfield interchange

Adrian Guziewski’s Saturday shift started like any other. But less than an hour into his 12-hour patrol, Guziewski suddenly became the only thing standing between a despondent woman and a life-ending fall through the Capital Beltway’s Springfield interchange.

Shortly before 2 p.m., Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Transportation received a call for pedestrians walking on the Beltway near Interstate 395. Guziewski, a safety service patrol operator, was the closest employee to the incident.

From Van Dorn Street, Guziewski made his first pass through Springfield on the Inner Loop, finding nothing. After an about-face at Braddock Road, he turned south on the Outer Loop. It was then that he spotted a trio of people on the right shoulder above the I-395 mainline.

A passerby who had stopped at the scene quickly guided Guziewski toward a woman; her back facing traffic, her hands gripping the concrete wall, her head facing downward toward the roar of the heavy highway traffic below.

“He got out of the car and she was trying to climb up the jersey barrier on the bridge,” said Ellen Kamilakis, spokesperson for VDOT.

Without blinking, the highway help truck driver did more than just help. Guziewski managed to swiftly grab the woman and bring her off the wall. She struggled in his arms, attempting to climb the wall again.

“He pulled her back and he kept saying to her, ‘Please, you don’t want to do this. Please, you don’t want to do this. Please, come with me,” Kamilakis said.

He gently brought her back on the right shoulder again. With one free hand, he keyed his radio, relaying the exact location to the operations center as Virginia State Police raced to the scene.

Troopers arrived within minutes, some positioning below the overpass, ready to stop interstate traffic as a matter of safety. In October 2017, a 12-year-old boy jumped from an overpass above I-66. A driver below, Marisa Harris of Olney, Maryland, was killed. The boy sustained life-threatening injuries.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue services arrived on scene and conducted a mental evaluation. The woman was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. According to initial reports, there was no vehicle found near the scene.

One by one, the responders departed. Guziewski resumed the rest of his long shift, with an eye out for debris, disabled vehicles and more routine roadside hazards.

“He’s actually quite humble about it,” Kamilakis said. “To have something like that happen and then to just go about your shift the rest of the day just like you’ve just simply changed a tire is simply amazing.”

To Guziewski, the woman was not a tire. She was a human being. Perhaps it was his prior experience as a police officer in Poland that kicked in. Perhaps it was simply his capacity for good.

Kamilakis said Guziewski was not available for comment on Sunday because he was at work, diligently patrolling the Beltway between Springfield and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, doing his best to keep the public safe.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress. If you or someone you know are in need of help, call 1-800-273-8255.

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Weekend work zones planned for I-395

Weekend roadwork is expected to affect drivers on Interstate 395 in Virginia over the next four weekends.

Single and double lane closures are scheduled in the main lanes from late Friday nights into Sunday afternoons as crews rehabilitate five bridges.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, work zones this weekend will block up to two northbound main lanes between Duke Street and the Pentagon. The ramps from Duke Street that lead northbound onto I-395 are also expected to be blocked. A single southbound main lane will probably be blocked for much of the weekend as well.

The work is scheduled to begin around 10 p.m. Friday and last through Sunday afternoon. The southbound lane closure could be cleared by late Sunday morning, VDOT said.

The work will be focused on four bridge spans that carry the dual highways over Sanger Avenue and Braddock Road in the Seminary Hill area of Alexandria. A fifth bridge for the northbound carriageway at Joyce Road near Pentagon City will also be the subject of the rehabilitation effort.

A similar rehab spree took place on I-395 during the summer of 2018.

Transurban, the operator of the express lanes facility, has agreed to keep the reversible High Occupancy Vehicle lanes open in the direction most impacted by the closures in the main lanes. Therefore, the I-395 HOV lanes will probably remain open to northbound traffic through this weekend into the Monday morning rush hour.

The 95 Express Lanes will operate in the usual weekend pattern, open to southbound drivers through early Saturday afternoon and to northbound drivers from Saturday afternoon through Sunday.

The HOV lanes are on track to be folded into the 495 and 95 Express Lanes system and open as E-ZPass lanes by the fall.

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com