Court Docs: Washougal man was drunk during double-fatality hit and run

Police noted a “strong odor of intoxicants” on David Croswell’s breath

WASHOUGAL — 71-year old David Croswell had his first appearance in Clark County Court on Wednesday, a day after police say he ran over two people on a Washougal beach, killing them.

Debris left behind after a Jeep Grand Cherokee tore through Sandy Swimming Hole Park in Washougal, killing two people. Photo courtesy Washougal Police
Debris left behind after a Jeep Grand Cherokee tore through Sandy Swimming Hole Park in Washougal, killing two people. Photo courtesy Washougal Police

According to a probable cause document, Croswell’s son-in-law called 911 after seeing a television news report. He went to Croswell’s Washougal house and confirmed damage to the older man’s Jeep Grand Cherokee. That damage was allegedly caused when the vehicle plowed through a chain link fence at Sandy Swimming Hole Park before driving across the beach, back up an embankment, and through a sign on the other side of the park before driving away eastbound on Shepherd Road.

Rudolf Hohstadt, 61, and his 62-year old wife Regina were sunbathing on the beach and were run over and killed. The couple was described by Washougal police as German nationals visiting family in the metro area.

The police report says an investigator arrived and noted a “strong odor of intoxicants” coming from Croswell, who admitted he had been in a collision at the swimming hole. It is unclear from the documents if he was aware that he had run over two people during the incident.

Police also noted damage to Croswell’s vehicle matching what was left behind at the scene.

Croswell told police he had been drinking at a local restaurant prior to attempting to drive home. His daughter said the 71-year old only drank about once a month, usually when having dinner with a friend. It appeared no alcohol was missing from the home.

According to the police report Croswell was unable to do a mobile sobriety test due to a medical disability that makes it difficult to walk. He did eventually agree to a breathalyzer test, which measured .085, slightly above the legal limit in Washington State, though the test was conducted four hours after the incident at the park.

Croswell was booked on charges of vehicular homicide with DUII, and deadly hit and run. He is being held on half a million dollars bail.

About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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