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.

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