- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly was charged with a misdemeanor count of hit-and-run, police said yesterday.

Mr. Connolly said he “absolutely felt no impact” from what he called a “very minor fender bender” and was shocked to learn later that he had been in an accident.

The charge stemmed from an incident Friday in the Tysons Corner section of the county. Investigators said Mr. Connolly, 54, was driving his 2003 Toyota when he hit a sports utility vehicle while trying to change lanes. According to police, Mr. Connolly did not stop.

Officer Bud Walker, a Fairfax County police spokesman, said Mr. Connolly was issued a magistrate summons on Tuesday night. He is due in court on June 22.

“I was trying to turn left, and my car stalled. And I was desperately trying to get it to start,” Mr. Connolly told the Associated Press. “Another vehicle came rather suddenly, to my way of thinking, on the left of me. My reaction was … ‘Where did he come from, and this is awfully close.’ And just then I was able to start my car, and I moved on.”

Mr. Connolly said damage to his car amounted to “an indentation and a little dent,” and that he understood damage to the other vehicle — a 2003 Ford Explorer — was even less. He was alone in the car at the time and was not hurt.

“I just didn’t feel it. I was completely stunned to learn that in fact there had been an impact,” Mr. Connolly said, adding he tried to contact the other driver, identified by police as Lewis M. Pfister, 41, of Ashburn, Va.

Mr. Connolly said that several attempts to reach Mr. Pfister were unsuccessful and that Mr. Pfister insisted on pressing charges.

Mr. Connolly became chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 1. He was first elected Providence District supervisor in 1995.

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