It appeared to be a normal Sunday morning in Alexandria’s historic Old Town when police with the Alexandria Police Department received reports about a car accident that had taken place directly before the doors of the Basilica of St. Mary. The church, one of the oldest and most well known in the city, was just preparing to begin its first Sunday service at 7:00am when, it seems, a four door sedan approached the building and, due to reasons that are currently under investigation, flipped over.
It is not clear exactly what happened inside of the car or on the sidewalk in front of the church, but pictures from the scene merge with the official police report to indicate that the driver of the car either lost control of the vehicle or, for reasons that are not clear, decided to try and crash into the 200-year-old church. Either way, the car managed to become so destabilized that it flipped over onto its roof. Pictures from the scene show the vehicle lying on the red brick sidewalk directly before the doors of the church. One of the brass railings leading to the front doors was damaged by the car, but it seems that no one on the sidewalk was injured, a somewhat shocking fact given that the incident happened just as the first service of the day was about to begin.
The Basilica of St. Mary, a Roman Catholic church, is located along the 300 block of South Royal Street and boasts upwards of 7,000 members. It is listed in the state’s historical registry and is a beloved building by many in the Fairfax County area. The report did not indicate if the individual inside of the car had any connection to the church itself or if the entire circumstance is currently being treated as a random series of events.
The driver of the car was injured in the incident and paramedics rushed him to a hospital located nearby. It is thought that none of the injuries the person sustained were life threatening.
Police with Alexandria are still investigating the incident. Further updates will likely be released as more information is discovered and more answers unearthed.