Docs: Driver, 71, drunk when he hit tourists on beach

Crime

David Croswell's son-in-law called 911 after hearing car's description on news

WASHOUGAL, Wash. (KOIN) — The 71-year-old man accused of hitting and killing a German couple at the Sandy Swimming Hole Park was drunk, according to the probable cause document.

Washougal police said David E. Croswell, who’s on constant oxygen, is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide DUII and two counts of deadly hit and run.

He made his first court appearance Wednesday morning where the judge set his bail at $500,000 — more than double what the attorney for the state asked for.

The incident unfolded Tuesday shortly before 5 p.m. when police said a Jeep Cherokee drove through a chainlink fence at the park, hit the couple who were lying on the beach and kept going. The driver never slowed down, according to witnesses.

Sandy Swimming Hole Park fatal crash
A red Jeep Cherokee suspected of hitting and killing 2 people on the beach at Sandy Swimming Hole Park in Washougal is towed away, June 25, 2019 (KOIN)

The victims were identified as 61-year-old Rudolf Hohstadt and 62-year-old Regina Hohstadt. The couple arrived in the U.S. several days earlier to visit family in the area.

Sandy Swimming Hole Park fatal crash
A red Jeep Cherokee suspected of hitting and killing 2 people on the beach at Sandy Swimming Hole Park in Washougal is towed away, June 25, 2019 (KOIN)

Police added that they don’t believe Croswell knew the victims.

According to the probable cause, the son-in-law of Croswell called 911 after he heard the description of the suspect vehicle on the news and found front-end damage to Croswell’s car.

Croswell and the Jeep were found at a residence shortly after 8 p.m.

The probable cause states Croswell confirmed to the responding officer that he was involved in the crash at Sandy Swimming Hole Park.

Sandy Swimming Hole Park
One person was killed and another critically hurt when the driver of a Jeep Cherokee drove through a fence at the Sandy Swimming Hole Park, June 25, 2019 (Washougal PD)

The officer said he could smell a “strong odor of intoxicants” coming from the suspect. According to the probable cause, Croswell said he was drinking at the China Garden’s Restaurant before the crash, but didn’t drink afterward.

Due to Croswell’s chronic medical problems, he couldn’t perform the sobriety test, however, he submitted to a preliminary breath test at 8:45 p.m. Nearly 4 hours after crash, Croswell’s BAC level was 0.085, according to court documents.

His next court appearance is scheduled for July 10.

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