Updated at 2:20 p.m.
A 25-year-old Embassy Suites employee died Tuesday afternoon after being struck by a large SUV on the southeast side of Washington Circle, family members and a city police said Wednesday.
The victim’s family believes Anh-dao Xuan Huynh was walking to the Foggy Bottom Metro station when the vehicle struck her. Huynh’s sister, Lihn Graham, said a representative from the Metropolitan Police Department told family members Huynh died Tuesday at 2:13 p.m. after she stopped breathing. She was hit by the vehicle between 11 a.m. and noon, according to eyewitnesses.
Metropolitan Police Department Officer Kenny Bryson said his office is compiling a report about the accident and expects the report to be released later today. Bryson said as of Wednesday afternoon he knew of no charges being filed against the alleged driver of the SUV.
“The vehicle stayed on scene, it was not a hit and run,” Bryson said.
Metropolitan Police Department Officer Hugh Carew initially said Tuesday afternoon that the victim was being treated for “non-fatal injuries.” Hyunh’s family, however, said they were told Huynh was dead upon or soon after arrival.
Bryson said the department was told Huynh was “in very bad shape,” but that she was alive when transported to the hospital.
Family members gathered at Washington Circle Tuesday night to remember Huynh with candles, balloons and prayer. Staying until past 1:30 a.m., family members remembered the young woman who brought “joy, love and happiness” into their hearts.
“I can’t live anymore, I’ve lost my soul,” the deceased’s youngest sister Trinh Huynh said. “She wasn’t only my sister, she was my best friend. She understood me better than anyone else in the world.”
Trinh Huynh, 20, said the deceased lived in D.C. and wanted to be a nurse. GW Hospital Communications Manager Heather Oldham and University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said Wednesday that Huynh was neither an employee nor a student at the University or at GW Hospital.
Huynh’s brother-in-law Keith Graham, 37, said police have the name of the driver of the SUV. He added Huynh was a “sweet spirit” who touched all who knew her.
“She had a personality that attracted everyone,” Graham said. “I worked with her at a hotel years ago and we still have guests come in an ask about her.”
Michelle King, a friend of the family, said she is outraged at the city of D.C. for not painting or providing sidewalks through Washington Circle.
“The city should have done something to make this area safer a long time ago,” King said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Anh wasn’t the first person who died here.”
Part of Washington Circle was closed Tuesday afternoon after the collision. Senior Larissa Pardo said Tuesday afternoon she was on her way to work around 11 a.m. when she witnessed the incident, which she said involved a green SUV.
“I thought it was a car hitting a trash can, and I looked over and I saw the back tires roll over this woman’s body,” she said. “She didn’t scream or anything, it was just me and this other woman started screaming and I called 911, but the hospital was right there. They just loaded her up on a stretcher.”
In a 2009 report, the D.C. Department of Transportation wrote the District “has a higher rate of pedestrian traffic fatalities (adjusted by population) than many cities nationwide including Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.”
Of the 600 average traffic collisions in D.C. per year, about 20 deaths occur each year, with pedestrian deaths reaching a 10-year high in 2007 with 24 deaths.
Matt Rist and Sarah Scire contributed to this report.