UPDATE: Man Indicted in Motor Vehicle Crash That Killed 3 Children on Indian Head Highway in December

January 25, 2019

UPDATE 1/25/2019: Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy announced that Thomas Hawks was indicted in connection with the Dec. 30 crash that killed 5-year-old Alexander Mejia, 5-year- old Rosalie Mejia, and 1-year- old Isaac Mejia, all of Falls Church, Virginia.

According to officials, Hawks’ blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit

Hawks was indicted on three counts of vehicular manslaughter and two counts of causing serious injury by motor vehicle while under the influence, according to officials. Hawks is expected to surrender with his attorney, officials stated.

If convicted on all counts, Hawks faces up to 36 years in prison.

Prosecutors refrained from formally charging Hawks earlier in part because of a 1990 court decision. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that a man charged with a lesser crime in a traffic stop could not be charged again with a more serious crime because it amounted to double jeopardy.

UPDATE 12/31/2018: The Prince George’s County Police Department Collision Analysis Reconstruction Unit (CARU) is investigating a rear-end collision involving multiple vehicles which resulted in the fatalities of three young siblings Sunday evening.

At 9:40 pm, the preliminary investigation reveals, an adult male driving alone in a pick-up truck rear-ended a vehicle carrying two adults and three children on Indian Head Highway near Wilson Bridge Drive. That impact caused the victims’ vehicle to strike the car in front of it which struck another vehicle in front of it, as well.

While it is early in our investigation, we know the crash occurred just before an intersection where the family was either slowed or stopped behind two other vehicles for the traffic light. The driver of the pick-up is suspected of driving under the influence and, it appears, was moving at a much higher rate of speed than the victims’ cars. Preliminarily, there is no evidence of skid marks on the scene prior to the point of impact with the car carrying the family. The pick-up truck came to rest on top of the rear-passenger compartment of that sedan.

5-year-old Alexander Mejia, 5-year- old Rosalie Mejia, and 1-year- old Isaac Mejia, all of Falls Church, Virginia, were killed upon impact. The two adult victims, the children’s parents, were transported to the hospital in critical but stable condition. The driver of the truck was taken into custody at the scene for sobriety testing.

Chief Hank Stawinski said, “I am heartbroken over the loss of these three young innocent lives. The actions of a suspected drunk driver has ended in a lifetime of pain for this family. We work tirelessly to clear our roads of drivers who make the horrible decision to pick up their keys and drive while impaired. We have been conducting targeted DUI and speed enforcement across the county and stepped up our efforts in specific areas to include the 210 corridor as we neared the New Year’s Eve holiday. At the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) awards program two weeks ago, I commended all of our local law enforcement for arresting more than 13,000 drunk drivers on our region’s roads annually. We are not only aware of this issue, we are actively engaged in this fight to take drunk drivers off the road and to hold them responsible. So it is difficult to describe how deeply frustrated I am, because, despite all of this work, a family is suffering beyond imagination. All of this because of one individual’s decision that placed the lives of all those around him in jeopardy when he got behind that wheel. It was a decision that ended in tragedy and it was a tragedy that didn’t need to be.”

As for the two other cars that were in front of the family’s car and were also hit, one of those drivers was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

The driver of the pick-up truck has been released. Final charges in this case are pending the outcomes of the investigation, toxicology testing, and reconstruction analysis and will be determined in consultation with the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or who may have additional information is asked to call our CARU investigators at 301-731-4422. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS, text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to www.pgcrimesolvers.com.

12/30/18: On Sunday, December 30, 2018, at approximately 9:45 p.m., emergency personnel responded to a motor vehicle accident with entrapment on Route 210 (Indian Head Highway) at Wilson Bridge Drive in Oxon Hill.

The crash involved three vehicles, with 2 adults and 1 pediatric trapped in one of the vehicles.

Fire officials say three children died in the crash.

At least two adults were safely extracted and tended to by medics.

More than 60 people have died in crashes on Indian Head Highway in the last 11 years, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration.

AAA calls Indian Head Highway one of the most dangerous roads in the D.C. area.