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Oakton man dead after single vehicle crash

An Oakton man is dead after his car drove off the road Saturday, according to Fairfax County police.

Police said that Peter M. Gallagher, 22, of the 11000 block of Wayland Street was driving on Vale Road on Nov. 17 shortly before 9 p.m. near the intersection of Valestra Circle, when for unknown reasons, Gallagher’s 1999 Mazda Protégé drifted off the road and crashed into a concrete wall.

Police said he died at the scene. Gallagher was not wearing his seat belt. It is unclear if speed or alcohol were factors in the crash.The case is still under investigation, according to police.

Alexandria man dead after single vehicle crash

U.S. Park Police say an Alexandria man is dead after a single vehicle crash on the George Washington Memorial Parkway on Nov. 19.

Police said Richard Allen Taylor, 25, of Alexandria, died from injuries at the scene of the crash that occurred at approximately 5:15 a.m. just north of Mount Vernon in the southbound lanes of the parkway. Police said Taylor died at the scene and an unidentified passenger was transported to a local hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries. The parkway remained closed for several hours during rush hour southbound at Stratford Lane. Northbound traffic was diverted to Route 1. It is unclear if speed or alcohol were factors in the crash. The case is still under investigation, according to police.

Fairview townhouse fire under investigation

Fairfax fire and rescue officials say the cause of a townhouse fire resulting in nearly $100,000 worth of damage remains unclear.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a townhouse fire Nov. 17 at approximately 1:15 p.m. in the Fairview area of Fairfax County. The single-family townhouse is located in the 5800 block of Oak Bucket Court.

Firefighters said they encountered smoke and fire coming from the front of the middle unit, three-story townhouse upon their arrival. The fire was rapidly spreading to the second, third floors, and extending into the attic of the structure. However, firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and brought the fire under control in approximately 15 minutes, keeping the fire tightly contained.

There was significant fire damage to the first floor, and extensive water and smoke damage to the basement and other floors, according to fire officials. The home’s lone occupant received a nonlife-threatening injury and was treated by paramedics at the scene and not transported, according to officials.

One firefighter also received a nonlife-threatening injury and was transported to INOVA Fairfax Hospital. Smoke alarms activated and provided early warning to the resident. The occupant has been displaced and will be assisted by the Red Cross.

Reston Zoo director hearing rescheduled

An appellate hearing for Reston Zoo director Meghan Mogensen, charged with animal cruelty and drug possession, has been postponed until Feb. 19, 2013.

Mogensen, 26, was found guilty on both charges in Fairfax County General District Court in September. Her appeal hearing was originally scheduled to appear in Circuit Court on November15.

Mogensen was charged with animal cruelty by county police, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

According to court testimony and a Feb. 16 warrant filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court, a zoo employee told police a sick wallaby was found dead in a trash receptacle after having earlier been placed into a crate. Wallabies are part of the kangaroo family.

The employee said the crate later was empty and the wallaby was discovered in a nearby trash container, telling police she feared the wallaby had been illegally drowned.

According to the warrant, Mogensen said she euthanized the wallaby with an injection of a drug called Beauthansia, but police said no injection mark could be found on the wallaby.

Police said in the search warrant that the zoo was not legally authorized to euthanize animals or to possess the drug Ketamine, which was also discovered at the zoo.

Annandale man sentenced for mortgage fraud

Pervaiz Arshad, 58, of Annandale, was sentenced Nov. 16 to four years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in fraudulent mortgage loan transactions involving nine homes in northern Virginia and nearly $1.7 million in losses to lenders, and for his role in attempting to obtain a fraudulent passport for a co-conspirator fleeing to Canada, according to federal court documents.

Arshad also was ordered to pay restitution to the victim lenders and to forfeit the proceeds of his crimes.

According to court documents, Arshad was a loan officer for Annandale-based E-Star Lending and recruited an individual to serve as a straw buyer in fraudulent real estate transactions designed to enrich himself and others. The properties, owned by co-conspirators, were sold to the straw buyer at a profit. Arshad ensured the straw buyer would qualify for the 100-percent financing used to buy the properties by reporting false employment and income information on the loan applications. Conspirators set up fake companies to verify the false employment information and further deceive the lenders. No payments were made on the loans, and Arshad intended for the straw buyer to flee to Canada before the fraud was discovered.

Arshad was indicted in this case in 2010, after he fled to Pakistan to avoid prosecution. He was arrested in July 2012 when authorities discovered him on a flight into Dulles International Airport. Court documents state Arshad is the sixth individual associated with E-Star Lending to be convicted of mortgage fraud related charges since 2008.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Kingstowne townhouse fire causes $165,000 in damages

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue officials say an improperly discarded cigarette has caused $165,000 worth of damage to a Kingstowne home.

Firefighters said they responded to a townhouse fire Nov. 17, at approximately 8:15 a.m., in the Kingstowne area of Fairfax County.

The single-family home is located in the 7700 block of Desiree Street in Alexandria.

Firefighters said they encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the top two floors and attic of the middle unit, three-story townhouse upon their arrival.

The Incident Commander struck a second alarm due to the volume of fire and the potential for rapid spreading of fire to multiple townhouses on both sides of the involved unit.

Firefighters said they conducted both an exterior and interior fire attack, bringing the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the townhouse where the fire originated. Two adults have been displaced. Red Cross support was not needed. There were no injuries.