Fender bender turns tragic when SUV kills two men on shoulder near Adelphi

By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 3, 2010; B01

At first, their lives intertwined innocently.

The loving father of five coming home from the pool hall and the computer repairman on his way back from a job crashed into each other in what everyone says was a fender bender. They pulled to the shoulder of the road, got out of their vehicles and began exchanging insurance information.

Then, their chance meeting turned tragic.

A 2005 Cadillac sport-utility vehicle driven by a 30-year-old Beltsville woman approached and hit both men and their parked vehicles, police said. The men, 33-year-old Roy Lacayo of Northeast Washington and 30-year-old Justo Rosario Jr. of Hyattsville, were killed.

"I feel like I'm in a bad dream and I can't wake up," said Christie Lacayo, 34, Roy's wife and the mother of three of his five children. "She took my husband from me and my children's father from them."

Police were investigating whether alcohol was a factor in the crash.

The crash occurred about 10:45 p.m. Monday on the shoulder of Riggs Road near the intersection with Forestdale Drive in the Adelphi area, police said. The woman was taken into custody afterward, but she had not yet been charged by late Tuesday, authorities said. Police declined to release her name, citing that reason.

Roy Lacayo, who worked as a manager at Jiffy Lube, had just celebrated his 3-year-old daughter's birthday at Chuck E. Cheese, though her actual birthday fell on Tuesday, his wife said. She said her husband asked if he could go to a pool hall Monday evening, and although she had made dinner plans, she said he could.

"I wish I had told him no, to come home, because I really had already bought dinner," she said, choking back tears.

Justo Rosario, meanwhile, had gone out as he does many nights to fix computers with his 15-year-old brother, said his half sister, 14-year-old Maria Rosario. She said the 15-year-old, Jose Herrera, told her that Lacayo had tapped the rear end of their SUV on the way home, and they pulled over to exchange information with him.

As the three were chatting between their vehicles -- pondering whether or not they knew one another from somewhere -- an SUV with its headlights off crashed into the two older men, Maria said, relaying Herrera's account.

"He said it was a miracle because he was right next to my brother, and that Roy [Lacayo], when he flew up in the air, he landed right beside him," Maria said.

Herrera went to meet up with the Lacayo family Tuesday, according to both families.

Justo Rosario, who moved to the area from the Dominican Republican when he was young, lived with his father, stepmother and Maria in Hyattsville, just six houses from some of his other relatives, Maria said. She said he spent most of his life in the D.C. area and graduated from Northwestern High School.

Maria said she will remember her brother as a man who loved betta fish, McDonald's and watching TV, but also as a man who had big dreams. She said he often talked of building a large house in the Dominican Republic.

"He wanted to work hard because he wanted to make a big house in the Dominican Republic so all of his family could be united and we could all live there," Maria said. "He loved that place."

Roy Lacayo was a loving father to five children -- Sergio, 11; Javiah, 10; Janae, 3; Jayla, 1; and Jaxson, 5 months -- who was hoping to pick up a second job doing computer work to help "make ends meet a little better," Christie Lacayo said.

She said her husband immigrated to the area from Nicaragua when he was 13 and that he loved sports, especially the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The crash, she said, has left her feeling "numb" and angry at the woman she believes is responsible.

"I just hope that justice is served on that part of it, that she learns a lesson from this," she said.

Staff writer Debbi Wilgoren and staff researcher Meg Smith contributed to this report.

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