Robert Novak Cited in Possible Hit-and-Run

080723_novak_car.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.

  • “He said he was cited for failing to yield the right of way.”

    But he drove away! This clearly sounds like a hit-and run.

  • Not the NYPD, this was in DC.

  • Max Rockatansky

    I like how he was in slow traffic, driving a convertible, and can still claim that he didn’t know he hit someone. Maybe it was a liberal conspiracy and the guy actually jumped in front of the car to make Novak look bad.

  • you are right susan. i stand corrected.

    dc – “devastation without prosecution.” it’s weak, i know. but hey.

    streetsborg, please don’t censor my comment. i was nice this time.

  • t0rgana

    Hoorah for Bono for enhancing the reputation of bicyclists and lawyers!

  • Robert Novak has built his career on hit-and-runs, such as his deliberate exposure of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity. I fail to find a shred of compassion in Novak’s behavior.

  • “The pedestrian who was struck by prominent Washington columnist and commentator Robert Novak is in worse shape than first thought, a hospital source tells ABC 7 News.

    The victim, a 66-year-old man, appeared somewhat incoherent, said the source who had seen the victim. The man appeared to have casts on his neck and back. The victim was X-rayed and a surgical team plans to evaluate him, the source said.”


    OK. This guy could DIE, and all he gets is a little ticket after driving away from the scene of the crime?

  • Novak probably figured he’s already going to hell, so why stick around?

  • gabby hayes

    it looks like my curse has finally kicked in.

  • Oops? Reality check is this America?

  • Assuming this is true, which it may not be maybe there was another reason. Certainly that is what his lawyer will say at the hearing.

    Incidentally, I was wondering why they did not charge him with leaving the scene. Here in Georgia, that’s one of the few things we can charge someone with.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Update: Novak has brain cancer.,novak072808.article

    “Novak is alert and talking — he wrote the statement announcing his illness — but in intensive care, where the hospital does not allow phone calls or flowers, according to his assistant, Kathleen Connolly. The diagnosis was sudden. Novak became ill Sunday during a family outing near Cape Cod, Mass. A family member called 911, and he was brought by ambulance to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where the diagnosis was made.”

    So a senior citizen with a messed up brain mows down another senior citizen. I’m afraid this may be a signpost to the future.

  • Leaving aside the question of punishment, Novak’s driving privileges must be taken away for public safety alone. That was also my initial reaction; it was hard to see how he could hit someone and not realize it, but even if you assume the best (that he was never aware of the pedestrian), he is unfit to drive. It doesn’t matter whether it’s sociopathic or physiological. Is D.C. traffic enforcement so lackadaisical in its duties to protect pedestrians that they’ll let Novak keep his license (with a $50 ticket, woohoo) and put everyone else at a grossly elevated risk?


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