Driver charged with murder after police say woman was killed by van in Southeast D.C.

November 9, 2013

The driver of a van who police said sped along a one-mile stretch of road in Southeast Washington on Friday evening, striking several vehicles and killing a woman in a crosswalk, has been charged with second-degree murder.

Woodrow Johnson, 52, of Capitol Heights, was being held pending an appearance in D.C. Superior Court, possibly later Saturday or on Monday. The victim was identified as a 24-year-old Shamika Latrice Smith of Southeast.

Officer Araz Alali, a D.C. police spokesman, said toxicology tests on the driver of the van are pending.

The incident occurred about 6:10 p.m. when Alali said the driver of a white 2014 Ford E150 van hit a vehicle in the 4900 block of Benning Road SE. “He did not stop,” Alali said.

Police said the van continued north on Benning Road at a high rate of speed, hitting another vehicle, before crossing into the opposite lane and striking the woman as she crossed the street in the 4600 block. Alali said she was in a crosswalk. Police said the driver continued to speed and hit two more cars at 44th and Benning Road.

Alali said the van then jumped a curb, crashed through a chain-link fence and hit a parked van.

Police said four people in vehicles that were struck along Benning Road suffered minor injuries and were treated at area hospitals.

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