Nichole Kral had just moved to Reston from Marion, Ind., to be closer to her boyfriend and she was beginning to search for a job nearby his Reston home.
But late Monday morning, Kral, 33, was hit and killed by a garbage truck that was backing up on Silentwood Lane, located off South Lakes Drive.
Police said they are not sure what exactly happened, but believe Kral was talking on her cellphone at the time of the accident.
Detectives are continuing to investigate, but the driver of the truck has not been charged and speed and alcohol have been ruled out as factors, police said.
"It's an awfully tragic accident," said Officer Bud Walker, a Fairfax County Police Department spokesman.
POLICE ARE STILL trying to determine if Kral was jogging at the time of the accident or if she inadvertently wandered into the path of the truck.
And though he was careful to underscore that police are not blaming Kral for the accident, Walker said pedestrians need to be constantly aware of the traffic situation, even on quiet residential streets like Silentwood Lane.
"The number one thing we want to encourage here is for pedestrians to always pay attention," he said.
Walker also urged residents to follow pedestrian safety tips, such as always walk in the opposite direction of traffic, use crosswalks when possible, and cross at intersections.
KRAL'S ACCIDENT was one of an unusually high number of fatal pedestrian accidents in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area on Monday.
Early that morning, a 15-year-old boy was hit in Montgomery County, Md. by a 1995 Saturn as he walked in Massachusetts Avenue, just outside D.C. The boy remains in critical condition, Montgomery County police said.
And Monday afternoon in Chantilly, Susan McGregor, 32, from Bristow, Va., was struck and killed by a van while walking across Sully Road. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in that crash either, police said.
The previous night, also in Montgomery County, an off-duty police officer hit and killed a 23-year-old pedestrian on Connecticut Avenue.
Including McGregor and Kral, 42 traffic fatalities have been reported this year in Fairfax County.
Last year in Virginia, 87 pedestrians were killed by automobiles or trucks. The National Highway Safety Administration reported that an estimated 4,749 pedestrians nationally were killed by motor vehicles in 2003.