WASHOUGAL, Wash. (KOIN) — Two German tourists were killed when the driver of a Jeep Cherokee drove through a fence at the Sandy Swimming Hole Park, hit them and kept going. But the Jeep and the suspected driver were found a few hours later.
The incident happened shortly before 5 p.m., the Washougal police said. The Jeep drove through a chain link fence on the west side of the park and hit the man and woman who were lying on the beach.
One person was dead on arrival at a hospital. The other person died about 20 minutes later, police said. They were later identified as 61-year-old Rudolf Hohstadt and 62-year-old Regina Hohstadt. The couple arrived in the U.S. several days before the incident to visit family in the area.
The driver kept going and left the park on the east side, driving up a berm and through a park sign, police said. Witnesses said the driver never slowed down.
Neighbors told KOIN 6 News they heard commotion and screaming on the beach. They estimate around 20-30 people were in the area at the time.
“I heard a big crash and then I started to hear a bunch of screaming,” Todd Feather told KOIN 6 News. “It was bad. It wasn’t good. They weren’t moving.”
The screaming came from right over Feather and Sherry Gustafson’s fence at the Sandy Swimming Hole.
“He thought they were doing CPR on someone and they weren’t, but it was scary,” Gustafson said. “Here it is, a summer day and something happened.”
Gustafson said she was shocked that more people didn’t get hit. Feather said that area is steep and he was surprised the driver “didn’t land up in the trees.”
Shortly before 9 p.m. Washougal police confirmed the Jeep was found not far away from the scene of the crime and the driver was located and arrested on two counts of vehicular homicide. Additional charges are likely.
Police later identified the driver as 71-year-old David E. Croswell of Washougal. Authorities don’t believe he knew the victims or had any contact with them prior to Tuesday night’s incident.
Croswell is due in court Wednesday morning.