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Pedestrian Safety

Robert Novak Cited in Possible Hit-and-Run

11:22 AM PDT on July 23, 2008

7_23_08_novak.jpgPolitico is reporting that conservative columnist Robert Novak, a.k.a. "The Prince of Darkness," hit a 66-year-old pedestrian with his black Corvette this morning in Washington D.C. and then drove away.

Some of the facts don't quite seem to add up just yet -- specifically the part about the Novak not knowing he hit someone and an eye-witness saying the victim was "sort of splayed onto the windshield."

"I didn't know I hit him. I feel terrible," a shaken Novak told reporters from Politico and WJLA as he was returning to his car. "He's not dead, that's the main thing." Novak said he was a block away from 18th and K streets Northwest, where the accident occurred, when a bicyclist stopped him and said, "You hit someone." He said he was cited for failing to yield the right of way.

The bicyclist was David Bono, a partner at Harkins Cunningham, who was on his usual bike commute to work at 1700 K St. N.W. when he witnessed the accident.

As he traveled east on K Street, crossing 18th, Bono said a "black Corvette convertible with top closed plowed into the guy. The guy is sort of splayed onto the windshield."

Bono said that the pedestrian, who was crossing the street on a "Walk" signal and was in the crosswalk, rolled off the windshield and that Novak then made a right into the service lane of K Street. "The car is speeding away. What's going through my mind is, you just can't hit a pedestrian and drive away," Bono said.

Apparently, Novak's got a rep as an aggressive driver, Again, from Jonathan Martin and Chris Frates at Politico:

In 2001, he cursed at a pedestrian on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 13th streets Northwest for allegedly jaywalking. "'Learn to read the signs, [bodily orifice]!' Novak snapped before speeding away," according to an item in The Washington Post's Reliable Source column.

Novak explained to the paper: "He was crossing on the red light. I really hate jaywalkers. I despise them. Since I don't run the country, all I can do is yell at 'em. The other option is to run 'em over, but as a compassionate conservative, I would never do that."

Two years later, the same column reported that Novak had gone to a racing school in Florida. "I've wanted to be a racecar driver all my life, and anyone who has watched me drive can tell you that," Novak said.

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