A woman who died after being hit by a commuter bus she was running to catch on K Street in downtown Washington Tuesday afternoon had just left work as a legal secretary at an international law firm, according to police and her employer.
Beverly Williams, 58, was headed home to La Plata, in southern Maryland, a 90-minute commute each way that she made every day for the past 27 years. D.C. police said she fell as she ran to her bus about 5:40 p.m. at 18th and K streets in Northwest and was struck by the vehicle.
Williams died on Wednesday at an area hospital. Police said the accident remains under investigation.
The victim was born and raised in Prince George’s County and graduated from George Mason University. She lived on a family farm with her husband of 19 years, David, a carpenter, and her daughter, Megan, 18.
Joe Dowley said he first started working with Williams 27 years ago at a Washington law firm, and she accompanied him 10 years ago to his new job as a partner at McKenna Long & Aldridge, which has its District office at 19th and K streets, a block from where the accident occurred.
Dowley — who in the 1980s served as chief counsel of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee — runs a team in the firm’s public policy division and said Williams worked for him and as many as six other lawyers as a legal secretary and administrator. “I was so happy when she decided to follow me over here,” Dowley said.
He said Williams spent her weekends and free time on the Maryland farm, which dates to the 1800s. The family renovated it and added an extensive garden, and Williams attended horse shows with her daughter, whom she bragged about in the office.
“She made it a great life,” Dowley said. “She worked very hard. A one and a half hour commute would be hard on anybody. She got on that bus a thousand times without any problem. ... It’s hard to understand why these things happen.”
Dowley said that despite a busy schedule at work and on the farm, Williams “found time for people. That’s the thing about Beverly no one will forget. “