8 months after 2 teens died, Wednesday townhall to focus on Lee Chapel Road improvements

September 12, 2023


By Victoria Sanchez

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (7News) — Eight months after two 16-year-old girls died in a high-speed crash, Fairfax County leaders will hold a virtual town hall Wednesday on road improvements.

Lee Chapel Road in Fairfax Station connects Ox Road and Fairfax County Parkway. The two-lane road is narrow and has two blind hills that can cause speeding drivers to feel a sense of weightlessness if going too fast.

On Jan. 10, just before 9:30 p.m., Ashlyn Brotemarkle and Ariana Haftsavar were killed and a third 16-year-old was seriously injured. Fairfax County police said Brotemarkle’s Lexus sedan went airborne more than 130 feet after traveling over a hill at more than 100 MPH in a 30 MPH zone. The vehicle landed off the roadway and into a wooded area.

Road signs along Lee Chapel Road in Fairfax County, Virginia. (7News)

“It is a magnet for teenagers and others to go too fast to get that feeling of leaving the ground,” Supervisor Pat Herrity told 7News Reporter Victoria Sanchez in May.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m., Herrity, Virginia Department of Transportation, Fairfax County’s transportation department and elected officials will discuss current short-term solutions and long-term projects under consideration. The meeting will be held on Microsoft Teams.

In July, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to transfer $5 million from another transportation project to cover more than half of the estimated $9 million in potential construction costs.

In a July 25 letter to the Board, Supervisor Herrity stated, “The most prudent from a funding, timeline and community standpoint would eliminate the two hills and include two 11-foot lanes and a 6-foot shoulder on each side of the roadway.”

During the May interview with Sanchez, Herrity estimated construction could take 1.5 to 3 years if the road is shut down to through traffic for the entire length of the project timeline.