A few years ago, I created a map of all the fatal multi-vehicle bicycle crashes I could find at the time. In researching it, I stumble on some interesting stories - some for fatal crashes and some not - so I pulled them out and have made a longer post of them. Here are some of those stories, though not all of them are traffic crashes.
17 year old Denis Wolf of Silver Spring and his friend Glen Edwards were riding on route 28 just west of Germantown when driver Washington Giddings struck Wolf from behind at high speed. Wolf was sent 54 feet from the point of impact and died that day, on Aug 25, 1974. Giddings admitted that he'd been drinking and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. In 1977, a new 1.5 mile hike-and-bike trail along the Northeast Branch from Old Riverdale Road to Calvert Road in Riverdale was named the Denis Wolf Trail by M-NCPPC after Wolf's family raised $3,000 for the trail. [The trail was extended and now we just call it part of the Northeast Branch Trail, I'm not sure the Wolf name was dropped intentionally or with permission]. The money the family raised was used for a rest stop, along the trail just south of Campus Drive, built in the late 1980's and still called the Denis Wolf Rest Stop.
On July 4, 1987, Robin Royle was bicycling on Wisconsin Avenue near the Capital Beltway in Bethesda when she was hit by a driver who moved into the right lane to pass another vehicle. The driver, David Henry, carried her on the car's hood for nearly a half-mile, then dumped her body and fled. He was charged with manslaughter by automobile, homicide by automobile while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident, possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine. He plead guilty to manslaughter by automobile and DWI and was sentenced to 5 years in county jail for manslaughter, with all but 1 year suspended, and a concurrent 1 year for DWI. He served only 3 months.
On May 12, 1991, 10-year old Dewayne Hawkins was riding a bicycle on the shoulder of Route 301 when the driver of a vehicle swung across two lanes of traffic with the intention of running down. Moments earlier the driver had earlier hit, and lightly injured, another cyclist. The driver hit Hawkins and left the scene. Five days later Hawkins died from the injuries he sustained. When apprehended later, the driver, Kathlynn Ann Najera, told the police she ran down the bicyclists "to teach the world a lesson." She was charged with first-degree murder and a count of assault with intent to commit murder. After a psychological review, she offered an Alford plea, meaning that she admitted no guilt, but she agreed that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict her of first-degree murder in a trial. In exchange, the state agreed that she was suffering from acute paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the crash. She was deemed criminally insane and was committed to a mental hospital. She was eventually released, but in September of 2009 was arrested again for assaulting an individual. She was committed again and released in 2010.
In August of 1991, during a charity ride from the West Coast to Washington called Bike-Aid, Andrew Appleton, 24, of Acton, MA and Holly Ehret, 21, of Sonoma, CA and two others were hit from behind by a tractor-trailer truck in Fauquier County, Virginia. Andrew and Holly didn't survive the crash. They were one day away from finishing the ride. The driver, Alvin Lee Harris, had approached the group from behind intending to move over and pass them, but then another car moved into the space to his left and he was going too fast and was too close to stop. Harris was ticketed on charges of reckless driving and driving with defective brakes. It's unclear what his final penalties were, but there is no criminal record for him in Virginia.
On October 9, 1994, Patrick Andrew Flanagan was on a Sunday morning ride when he was stuck by a vehicle on Clopper Road near Gunners Branch Creek near Germantown. The driver, Mehraban Khodayar Demhri, stopped after the collision and spoke briefly with a witness, who was in another car and had stopped at the accident. The driver then returned to his vehicle and drove off. He was arrested four days later based on an anonymous tip. He was charged with five counts including felony manslaughter and failing to remain at the scene of a personal-injury accident. He pleaded guilty to only the hit-and-run charge and was sentenced to six months in the Montgomery County jail and to 200 hours of community service. He served his time in a pre-release center that allowed residents to leave during the day.
On April 2, 1997, Judith Marie Flannery a six-time American and four-time world champion triathlete was struck head-on by a car that crossed the double yellow line. She died instantly. The car was driven by a 16-year old, unlicensed driver named Timothy Rinehart under the supervision of his father Ronald. Ronald was drunk and admitted he'd been drinking since early in the morning. Timothy was charged in juvenile court of seven charges including reckless driving and driving without a license, and was found guilty on all but the most serious charge of manslaughter. He was sentenced to perform 300 hours of community service, write an essay and not seek a driver's license without a judge's permission. His father was charged with nine offences including homicide, manslaughter by automobile, homicide by motor vehicle, driving while intoxicated, contributing to rendering a child in need of assistance, and several traffic violations. The homicide charge was dropped before trial began, and then the prosecution was unable to prove that Ronald grabbed the steering wheel at any time. As a result he was found guilty of only the three minor offenses of permitting an unauthorized person to a operate motor vehicle; permitting a vehicle to be driven by an unauthorized person and permitting a vehicle to be driven in violation of title. He was fined $500 and told not to drink in front of his son.
On October 8th, 1997 Alejandro Jose Grant was bumped by a left turning vehicle near Riggs Road and University Boulevard in Langley Park. The driver, 19 year-old Estrella Mariano Enriquez, stopped to check on him and he accosted her, shouting and cursing at her before pulling out a gun, shooting her in the head and riding away. He quickly ditched his bike and led police on a foot-chase that lasted several blocks. He was arrested and then charged, indicted and eventually found guilt of first-degree murder. When asked about it, Grant - who had been arrested for assault on three prior occasions - claimed that it was the second time he'd been knocked off his bike that day; that he found the experience frightening and that he wanted Enriquez to feel the same fear. At his sentencing he said he "didn't really feel like living" and asked the judge to impose the death penalty. She gave him a sentence of life in prison plus 20 years instead. Not to be denied, Grant took his own life less than two days later.
On September 5, 1998, Kap Joo Kim hit 14-year old high school freshman Kevin Mackey with her Dodge station wagon while he rode his bike on the shoulder of Dufief Mill Road and then drove away. He died three days later. After several months of searching, Kim surrendered to the police after her son saw a report of the accident on television news. She claimed that she had fallen asleep behind the wheel and didn't realize she'd hit anyone when she swerved onto the shoulder. Because she wasn't speeding or drunk, only tired after a 12 hour shift, she was only charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving bodily injury or death, negligent driving, failure to remain at the scene and provide information, and unsafe lane change which got her 6 months in in the county's pre-release center (a dorm-like facility where inmates work or seek treatment during the day and return at night) fined $1500 and ordered to perform 250 hours of community service. She originally appealed her case, and then withdrew the appeal.
On April 15, 1999 Roseller "Larry" Enguillado ran a red light on the George Washington Parkway at Slater's Lane in Alexandria and struck Walter "Skip" Walsh an EPA employee on his way home from work. Enguillado, a civilian employee of the Department of Defense, was charged with reckless driving and failure to obey a traffic signal. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail and two years' probation and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. Enguillado's lawyer had tried to argue that Walsh was partly to blame because he was not in the crosswalk. Later, reporters at the Washington Times investigated the 3-second yellow light at the intersection and found that 20 vehicles were running that light every 30 minutes. The reports led Rep. Dick Armey to call for an investigation into accusations that local governments were shortening the yellow light cycle to increase fines. AAA's Lon Andersen supported the investigation. The light at Slater's did not have a camera. Hearings were held later that year, but nothing came of them.
On January 10th, 2002 Walter Penney, a man known for volunteering as a coach in youth sports leagues, was biking on the Sligo Creek Parkway when a driver coming the other way crossed the median and hit him head on. Penney died that day. The driver, 23 year old Scott Andrew Davis, was charged and convicted of Vehicular Manslaughter. He was sentenced to 7 years, with all but 3 years suspended, a $1500 fine and 240 hours community service. Davis had been familiar with the court and criminal system before (drug, alcohol charges, failure to pay child support, burglary) and continued to be in trouble with the law afterward. While in jail, he was twice charged with disorderly conduct and destruction of property and then possession of marijuana as well as assault and theft. He was found guilty on drug charges in 2007 and 2009. He was arrested in 2008 for assaulting a corrections officer and then that same year plead guilty to assaulting one man and killing another in a bar fight. He was sentenced to 36 months in jail. Since being released he has been charged numerous times with excessive speeding and driving on a suspended license or no license. In 2017 he was pulled over for driving on the wrong side of the road. In January of this year he was pulled over for DWI and in March, again, for driving on a suspended license.
On September 22, 2002, Eberhard "Ed" Irmler was fatally struck by a 76-year old Bethesda woman driving a minivan who ran a stop sign on Peach Tree at Barnesville Road in Montgomery County, MD. Irmler, 50, was a highly regarded federal government economist who lived in the District. There is no record of the driver being charged.
On March 26, 2004, David Van Keuren, a 63 year old historian at the Naval Research Laboratory, was struck and killed by a dump truck as he biked in the 1300 block of South Capitol Street on his way to work. The driver left the scene, but according to one report, was located by the police. The driver was reportedly never charged.
Mark Creasy was riding his bicycle along Marina Drive on Daingerfield Island on May 25, 2005 when he was attacked by Andre Suggs and strangled to death during a robbery. A witness on the riverbank heard several screams and went to investigate. The witness saw Suggs sprawled over Creasy's body, confronted Suggs and then rode off on his own bicycle to seek help. Suggs followed the witness on Creasy's bike before fleeing into the woods. Less than an hour after the slaying, Alexandria police arrested a naked Suggs about a half-mile away when he crossed the parkway at Bashford Lane. A U.S. Park Police affidavit said Suggs bit one of the arresting officers and screamed, "AIDS! AIDS! I got AIDS! Just before his arrest, Suggs had assaulted a second male bicyclist on the Mount Vernon trail and taken his bike. He was also accused of assaulting a third bicyclist, a woman who was hit in the head while riding on the Capital Crescent Trail near Georgetown, a week earlier. Her bike was stolen as well. He was charged and plead guilty to second-degree murder. He is serving a 30 year sentence with a release date of 7/16/2031. In 2016 he moved to vacate his sentence.