It's been a great year in Oakton, and on Oakton Patch.
To take a look backward before we jump into 2013, we've compiled a list of the most-read stories on Oakton Patch this year. Some of the stories on the Top 10 list are on the same issue, so we've condensed the list down to six.
Stories are listed in reverse order of popularity.
6. UPDATE: Police Say Two Injured in Four-Vehicle Crash: A four-car accident at Route 123 and Blake Lane in Oakton shut down the intersection at the peak of rush hour one night in August as emergency crews removed at least one person from their vehicle. Two victims were sent to the hospital.
5. Police: Teen Driver Crashes into Miller Road Home: A 16-year-old driver on his way to football practice veered off Miller Road into a house on the street's 10400 block in August.
Fairfax County Police said the driver — heading eastbound on Miller Road behind Oakton Elementary School — crossed lanes, knocked over a mailbox, continued through a yard and over Wilson Avenue before veering up a hill and into the front porch of a home. Police believe a medical emergency is the cause of the accident, and the driver was transported to a local hospital.
4. Oakton Man Dies in Crash on Vale Road An Oakton man died in a single-vehicle crash near his home in November after his car drifted off Vale Road, police said. Peter Moran Gallagher Jr., 22, of Wayland Street, was pronounced dead at the scene. Gallagher was not wearing a seat belt.
Just before 9 p.m. Saturday, Gallagher was driving a 1999 Mazda Protégé east on Vale Road when police say he drifted to the right off the road and struck a guardrail just past Valestra Circle. The car continued on the shoulder of the road, then struck a concrete wall.
Also in the Top 10: A Eulogy for Peter Gallagher Jr.: Patch printed the eulogy for Peter Gallagher Jr., given by his father Peter Gallagher Sr., his sister Maeve and his uncle George Braley. It ran unedited. The Gallaghers hosted a service in honor of 22-year-old Peter, who died in November in a single-vehicle crash on Vale Road, at St. Mark Catholic Church.
3. Your Guide To Fourth of July Firework Shows In Northern Virginia: We round up a list of places to celebrate America.
2. Police Investigate Shooting as Murder-Suicide Fairfax County Police believe an Oakton man shot his housemate before turning the gun on himself in July, a spokesman said as he announced the launch of a murder-suicide investigation.
Spokesman Eddy Azcarate said police discovered 43-year-old Ihab Robert Qutob dead upon arrival. The alleged shooter and suicide victim, Alexander Aden Rios, 27, was taken to a local hospital but died later in the evening. Police do not know the nature of the men's relationship, but Azcarate said they were both residents of the condo where the shooting occurred. They had lived together for "more than a few months," Azcarate said, though he was unsure of exactly how long.
(Also in the top 10: 'Quiet Community' Reacts to Apparent Murder-Suicide and UPDATE: Two Dead in Oakton Shooting)
1. Oakton Dentist Arrested for Distributing Narcotics: Oakton dentist Hamada Makarita was arrested earlier this year for allegedly illegally distributing prescription medicine to patients, employees and girlfriends, among other charges. Makarita was charged with conspiracy, health care fraud, aggravated identity theft and 12 counts of dispensing controlled substances at the U.S. District Court in Alexandria in May.
He was ultimately convicted of health care fraud, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy and five counts of illegally distributing narcotics in November. He plans to appeal the sentence.
(Other stories in the top 10 concerned this case, including Grand Jury Indicts Oakton Dentist on 15 Charges and ).
Thanks for reading Oakton Patch -- here's to a great 2013!