Washington, DC Auto Crashes Onto Sidewalk, Aug 1984


Washington (AP) - A mother and her three small children were among seven people killed when a car careened onto a sidewalk near a crowded bus stop, hurtling some victims into the air and pinning others against a brick wall.
Three other people, including the driver of the car, were hospitalized following the Saturday night crash about a dozen blocks from the U.S. Capital building, police said.
"It was a bloody massacre," according to police Capt. James Thorne, who said the victims were "bulldozed" into the wall. "I've been 21 years on this job and I've never seen anything like it."
Sgt. Joe Gentile, a police spokesman, said Sunday that the traffic accident was the city's worst in recent times.
"This is particularly tragic because there were so many fatalities and you had an entire family wiped out," he said.
The driver of the car, ROBERT WILLIAMS, 41, of Washington, was charged with vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated and reckless driving. He was listed in fair condition at a local hospital Sunday.
Eyewitnesses and police said the early evening accident occurred when a car, traveling at between 75 mph and 85 mph down the wrong side of the street, struck the median strip and was propelled airborne.
The car slammed into the narrow sidewalk in front of the Washington Navy Yard where a crowd was waiting for the bus. After hitting the people, the vehicle flipped over and then burst into flames.
Gentile described the accident this way:
"WILLIAMS was traveling east in the westbound lane when he apparently struck the median strip. That caused his car to literally fly and travel along the sidewalk for 126 feet when he hit the people and then flipped over. He was pulled from the car by bystanders."
Neil Della-Camera, a member of the fire department and one of the first on the scene, said, "The victims were splattered up against the wall -- When we got there, there were three babies on the ground and three adults beside them."
Police identified the dead, all from Washington as: SANDRA SCOTT, 24, and her children, SHANTA, 5, SOPHIA, 1, and two-week-old TANDRA. The other victims were THEODORE CRISP, 24, LINDA TAYLOR, 18, and CHARQUITA McKETHEAN, six-months-old.
The McKETHEAN girl's mother, CHARRON, 18, and WILLIE CALLIHAM, 19, were in serious condition at a local hospital Sunday.

Sioux City Journal Iowa 1984-08-27