Update, August 5:
U.S. Park Police have identified the two men fatally struck by a driver July 10 on federal park land in downtown D.C. Thomas Dwight Spriggs, 42, and Jesus Antonio Llanes-Datil, 63, died when hit by the yet-unidentified driver while they were resting in Pennsylvania Avenue NW’s James Monroe Park, per the Washington Post. Officials could not find permanent addresses for the men. Community activists held a memorial vigil for them several days after the crash.
Original post, July 11:
Two people have died after a car crash that occurred downtown late Wednesday, according to D.C.’s Fire and Emergency Medical Services agency. NBC4 reports that the two people were sitting on a bench in the triangular James Monroe Park near Pennsylvania Avenue and 21st Street NW when a driver came off the avenue and collided into them. They died on the scene.
U.S. Park Police were investigating the crash, D.C. police said Thursday. (The park is under federal control.) A park police officer told WTOP that speeding appeared to contribute to the outcome and the driver was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The names of the victims have not been released yet. The vehicle involved was reportedly an SUV.
NBC4’s Megan McGrath on Twitter published videos depicting the aftermath of the collision.
SUV that went off Pennsylvania Ave and into Monroe Park is towed from the scene. 2 people on a bench in the Park were killed. I’m live at 6:45 with the latest. pic.twitter.com/u5SrDmB4pc— Megan McGrath (@MeganMcGrath4) July 11, 2019
Crews clean up the debris from last night’s accident on Penn. Ave NW. 2 people on benches in Monroe Park were killed when the SUV left the road and slammed into them. pic.twitter.com/LiXQY47OOJ— Megan McGrath (@MeganMcGrath4) July 11, 2019
The fatalities appear to be the District’s 13th and 14th traffic deaths so far in 2019, per data from the Metropolitan Police Department. City transportation officials are currently working on a redesign of the western end of Pennsylvania Avenue NW where the crash took place. It would narrow the roadway to four car lanes from six, add protected bike lanes, and expand sidewalks as part of the District’s Vision Zero initiative to eradicate traffic fatalities by 2024.