Sandy Swimming Hole regulars mourn German tourists

Clark County

Rudolf and Regina Hohstadt died when a Jeep ran over them on the beach

WASHOUGAL, Wash. (KOIN) — A makeshift flower memorial marks the spot where 2 German tourists were killed while laying on a beach in Washougal by a Jeep driver who crashed through a fence and didn’t stop.

David Croswell faced a Clark County judge Wednesday to officially hear the charges: 2 counts of vehicular homicide, DUII and 2 counts of fatal hit-and-run. He’s being held on $500,000 bail.

Video: Sandy Swimming Hole regulars mourn German tourists

The 71-year-old’s court-appointed attorney, Shon Bogar, said his client has medical problems, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

He allegedly admitted drinking at a Chinese restaurant before crashing through a chain link fence at Sandy Swimming Hole Park, driving down an embankment, striking the tourists and driving up a berm and out of the park.

David Croswell
David Croswell, 71, in his first court appearance after allegedly killing 2 German tourists on a Washougal beach with his Jeep, June 26, 2019 (KOIN)

Rudolf Hohstadt, 61, and 62-year-old Regina Hohstadt were visiting family in the area and had only been in the US a few days.

“I just thought it would be nice to bring flowers because that’s sad that people who don’t live here come to enjoy our park, and then their life is taken in seconds,” said resident Cindy Park.

Dennis Dole said people come to the Sandy Swimming Hole Park for a peaceful time, “especially when they’re coming to visit family.”

Andrea Dole was very upset, but wants the family to know “the community is here to help them.”

A Jeep hit and killed 2 German tourists while they were sunbathing on a beach in Washougal. (KOIN)

Neighbor Amy Brown said the park is a special little spot that will never be the same.

“It’s been well known for a long time,” Brown told KOIN 6 News. “My mother-in-law is actually named Sandy after the Sandy swimming hole.”

She and her family came to the spot almost every day last summer. “I’ll be rethinking where I sit down there next time because of this,” she said. “It will be difficult to come down here again and not be a little scared.”

Brown said what others said: People are shocked and sad at these events.

“Their family is half-a-world away. They were German tourists visiting,” she said. “Just really shocked and really, really sad.”

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