Print

News >> Browse Articles >> Off Beat

+16

Good Samaritan Directs Traffic in NW DC

Associated Press

February 02, 2011

The traffic signal at the corner of Nebraska and New Mexico avenues in northwest Washington was broken. It was stuck on red for the motorists on Nebraska, bringing them to a stand-still from Ward Circle to Foxhall Road.

Commuters were getting frustrated. Pedestrians — many trying to get to American University — dodged cars to cross the street. And traffic poured out of New Mexico Avenue, which had a signal stuck on green.

That’s when Russell Williams stepped in to help.

The two-time Academy Award winner and professor in the Communications School at American University realized that his bus was stuck in traffic, so he decided to take action.

He started directing traffic.

Williams stood on the sidewalk beside Nebraska, carefully signaling to the cars coming up over the hill on New Mexico to stop. He also directed vehicles along Nebraska. Heck, he even interspersed pedestrians to get them across Nebraska safely.

This went on for some time because a D.C. Police cruiser heading to the scene was also stuck in the traffic.

Finally, Williams said, the police officer got to the scene to “relieve” him.

He said he has no formal experience directing traffic, and thought about the liability if there was an “accident on his watch.” But he said he thought the situation needed a Good Samaritan, so he jumped in.

By 10:30 a.m. DDOT had taken over the intersection. A work crew fixed the traffic light in all directions. Traffic thinned and Williams walked across Nebraska Avenue to teach a class at 11:30 a.m.

While DDOT probably wouldn’t approve of what Williams did, there are plenty of commuters in Northwest who are thankful for his efforts.


+16
  • Radio2_max50

    FireDad

    over 3 years ago

    7352 Comments

    Good job..

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    over 3 years ago

    19382 Comments

    Great uplifting article. You go man........

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    BForJuvCor

    over 3 years ago

    846 Comments

    It's always good to see stories like this that show the general public being proactive.

  • John_groh_max50

    wiseass0282

    over 3 years ago

    10984 Comments

    Nice work, directing traffic at a busy intersection is no easy task, even for someone who knows how to do it.

  • Flags_and_stars_max50

    djs2v

    over 3 years ago

    5628 Comments

    Excellent job!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    rsironron

    over 3 years ago

    5220 Comments

    Good job.

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50

    Irishcop1961

    over 3 years ago

    50452 Comments

    Great job

  • Clone_trooper_max50

    lkdavis71

    over 3 years ago

    1066 Comments

    Nicely done.

  • Policememorial---a_max50

    Collegecop_WA

    over 3 years ago

    2380 Comments

    Thank you sir for stepping up and helping out - we need more people like you who are willing to think less about themselves and more about their community.

  • Ba_old_glory_max50

    Jonas

    over 3 years ago

    42222 Comments

    As one who directs traffic, this man is my hero!!!

  • Andrea_and_i_max50

    corylovesandrea

    over 3 years ago

    6226 Comments

    Glad to see some good stories like this from time to time. God bless Mr. Williams.

  • 063_max50

    jims4

    over 3 years ago

    2610 Comments

    A pat on the back for Mr. Williams.....

  • Images_max160_sq90_max50

    t1401hm

    over 3 years ago

    1754 Comments

    Nice story

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

Photo_user_blank_big
jaysmith111 submitted the article: "http://www.reddit.com/r/Manuinter/comments/2c30vv/", 18 minutes ago.
Patrolcar_pic_max30
Jkaz232 posted: "American Sniper Widow to Pay", 28 minutes ago.
Patrolcar_pic_max30
Jkaz232 posted in: "American Sniper Widow to Pay", 28 minutes ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
jaysmith111 submitted the article: "Watch Manchester United vs Inter Milan live", 37 minutes ago.
Bronzestarribbon_max30
csiguy is ranked No.2 for the day in PoliceTrivia, 40 minutes ago.