A 16-year-old was charged as a juvenile yesterday in the death of a 78-year-old woman struck by a car last month in the District, while another 16-year-old was in court to face adult charges in a separate vehicular death.
Already this summer, juvenile drivers have been blamed for at least three deaths in District. A year ago, the city endured two fatal collisions involving unlicensed juvenile drivers, and political leaders pledged tougher sanctions against young offenders and more jobs and activities for youths, especially in underserved communities east of the Anacostia River.
The teenager charged yesterday by the D.C. attorney general's office faces one count of second-degree murder as well as other charges, but because he was charged as a juvenile, his name was not disclosed.
Prosecutors said the victim in the case died Saturday, eight days after she was struck by a car as she crossed Bladensburg Road NE at Neal Street. The car, allegedly driven by the teenager, stopped momentarily and then sped off, prosecutors said. The attorney general's office did not release the woman's name.
The charges in that case were announced as Andrew Lofty, 16, was in court to appear before a judge on charges that he struck and killed a man driving a motor scooter last week in Southeast Washington.
Lofty was charged as an adult with second-degree murder. He could have been charged as a juvenile, but the U.S. attorney's office has the discretion to charge 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, and it did so after consulting with the attorney general's office.
The charging documents filed yesterday in the case detail a joy ride that ended about 5:30 p.m. Friday in a horrific wreck on G Street SE. Lofty and several other people were in the stolen van when Lofty spotted a police car, according to the documents. Instead of stopping, Lofty allegedly drove off, defying his would-be pursuers by dancing in his seat and speeding away, other occupants told police.
When the van struck the scooter, Terry Andrew Weaver, 21, was thrown more than 100 feet into a steel fence, sustaining fatal injuries, according to the charging documents.
The van continued east on G Street and turned onto Hilltop Terrace, where it caught fire, sparked apparently by dragging the scooter. The occupants bailed out of the van, but one was captured and charged, according to the charging documents.
By Sunday, investigators had identified Lofty as a suspect. In an interview with a D.C. police detective, Lofty initially said he had not been driving the vehicle, according to the charging papers. But after a few minutes, he admitted that he was the driver and said that he had tried to avoid hitting Weaver, the documents say.
D.C. Superior Court Magistrate Judge J. Dennis Doyle ordered Lofty held without bond.
Last month, a Silver Spring man who was a longtime advocate for his native Haiti was fatally injured when a stolen Jeep with a 14-year-old driver allegedly struck his car at 14th Street and Florida Avenue NW.