Jeep Driver Arrested for Drunkenly Running Over, Killing Sunbathers on Washington Beach

The victims were an elderly couple from Germany who had been visiting family in a nearby town.

Police arrested the driver of a Jeep Grand Cherokee who ran over and killed a pair of beach-going sunbathers at the Sand Swimming Hole in Washougal, Washington. 

Rudolf and Regina Hohstadt, both in their early 60s, were sitting in the sun when investigators say 71-year-old David E. Croswell, a local resident, drove through a chain-link fence and ran them over. The couple, who were tourists from Germany visiting family, survived the initial impact but sadly succumbed to their injuries and died after arriving at the hospital.

Witnesses told police that Croswell drove into the park and onto the beach around 5 p.m. local time on Tuesday. Croswell continued driving erratically around the beach and through the park, running the couple over before eventually tearing through a park sign and vacating the area. They also said Croswell showed no signs of slowing down.

Police arrested Croswell on Tuesday night when his son-in-law called 911 after hearing about the description of the suspect’s vehicle and noticed Croswell’s Jeep Grand Cherokee had been crashed. The Jeep was reportedly missing its front grille in addition to other front-end damage.

When apprehended, Croswell admitted that he had been in an accident at the park earlier that day. Authorities report they “could smell a strong odor of intoxicants coming from” the man upon arresting him. He also admitted to consuming alcohol at a local Chinese restaurant prior to the incident. When his blood-alcohol level was tested, Croswell’s reading came back as .085, which is above Washington’s legal limit of 0.08.

Croswell was booked into Clark County Jail and is facing vehicular homicide charges. His bail is set at $500,000.