Speeding vehicle crashes into White House barricade, Secret Service confirms driver killed

White House security was once again put to the test Friday as the United States Secret Service confirmed the fate of a driver who crashed into a barricade.

Saturday night saw the White House perimeter bathed in red and blue when emergency services responded to a reported vehicular accident near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. According to a statement from the Secret Service, amid an ongoing investigation, the driver was “discovered deceased” before they could render aid.

As detailed from the federal agency, “Shortly before 10:30pm on May 4th, a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed collided with an outer perimeter gate on the White House complex. Security protocols were implemented as officers cleared the vehicle and attempted to render aid to the driver who was discovered deceased.”

Anthony Guglielmi, chief of communications for the USSS, indicated on social media, “Limited traffic closures remain in effect as Secret Service teams, @dcfireems & @DCPoliceDept investigate a fatal vehicle crash that occurred at an exterior perimeter gate by the White House. There is no threat or public safety implications and our preliminary statement is below.”

The statement from the Secret Service added, “There was no threat to the White House. The fatal crash portion of this will be turned over to the Washington Metropolitan Police Department Crash Investigation Unit and the Secret Service investigation continues.”

Images captured by freelancer Andrew Leyden, who goes by the handle PenguinSix, included a graphic shot of the decedent seen under a tarp on the pavement outside the crashed vehicle.

Hardly a unique instance of such an accident outside the president’s residence, the crash wasn’t even the first of its kind this calendar year.

In January, Guglielmi had confirmed that an arrest had been made outside the White House perimeter while an investigation into the “cause and manner” of the incident was underway.

Similarly, in May 2023, a suspect identified as 19-year-old Varshith Kandula had been arrested after a U-Haul truck had been crashed into a White House barricade containing a Nazi flag, duct tape and a notebook after President Joe Biden had declared white supremacy the biggest threat to the country.

Even while traveling, the Secret Service has had to remain on their toes for vehicular mishaps as in December, Biden was spotted leaving his 2024 campaign office in Wilmington, Delaware and being questioned by the press moments before being ushered into a waiting SUV when a vehicle had crashed into the motorcade blocking off the street.

Video from the incident showed as law enforcement surrounded the vehicle and questioned the driver before the USSS released a statement that said detailed after the initial crash, “The sedan then tried to continue into a closed-off intersection, before Secret Service personnel surrounded the vehicle with weapons drawn and instructed the driver to put his hands up.”

Kevin Haggerty

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