A driver accused in the death of an Arlington woman was intoxicated and speeding when he plowed into a parked truck early Sunday, according to D.C. court papers charging him with second-degree murder.
According to the court documents, Momodui Bello, who also goes by Momodu Imologhomeh Bello, told police that he’d had at least two beers and a shot of cognac before getting into his car with two passengers, including Nancy R. Tinoza. Tinoza, 26, died after the crash on Eastern Avenue on the District-Maryland line.
The documents said that Bello, 35, was driving well above the 25-mph speed limit when he hit the parked tractor-trailer in the 3400 block of Eastern Avenue.
A witness told police that after hitting the truck, Bello, 35, dragged Tinoza out by her arms, according to the court document. She was unconscious, and he shook her violently when she did not respond. The witness told Bello to stop, and he dropped Tinoza, causing her to hit her head on the pavement, the witness said. She died at a hospital about half an hour after the crash, according to the court document.
Bello’s attorney could not immediately be reached to comment.
According to Tinoza’s LinkedIn page and other Web sites, she was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, and won numerous academic awards there. Through an organization that places Zimbabwean students at U.S. universities, she attended the College of Wooster in Ohio and graduated in 2012. Since then, she had worked as a research assistant at the International Monetary Fund, her LinkedIn page said.
Prosecutors charged that Bello, of Fort Washington, caused Tinoza’s death “with the intent to kill another . . . and with a conscious disregard of an extreme risk of death or serious bodily injury to another.”
The second passenger in Bello’s car, who was riding in the back seat while Tinoza sat in the passenger seat, told D.C. police that Bello picked both passengers up at a Metro station about 11 p.m. Saturday, according to the court document. Bello seemed to be intoxicated, the passenger said. The three then went to Mango Cafe, a club in Bladensburg. Bello was driving them back from the club when the crash happened at 3:12 a.m.
In an interview with police at the hospital, Bello, who was treated for injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, said he thought the truck on Eastern Avenue was moving, according to the court document, and he thought he saw its brake lights flash.
In fact, it was unoccupied and parked. Bello had left his lane, the court document said, and seemed to have made no attempt to brake.
Police said they noted numerous signs of intoxication when they interviewed Bello after the crash. He was arrested that night.
Peter Hermann contributed to this report.