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Oct. 2, 2022

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Washougal man arrested in deadly crash at local swimming hole

Jail roster lists suspect as David Croswell, 71; victims were from Germany

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

A Washougal man who allegedly drove his Jeep through a local swimming hole, striking and killing two people who were lying on the beach, is scheduled to appear this morning in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of vehicular homicide.

Washougal police say they arrested the suspect late Tuesday night, listed on the Clark County Jail roster as David E. Croswell. The roster shows Croswell, 71, was booked on suspicion of two counts of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence of intoxicants and two counts of hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

The people who were killed, Rudolf Hohstadt, 61, and Regina Hohstadt, 62, were both German nationals visiting the area. The Hohstadts were visiting family in the Portland area and had been in the United States for a few days, according to Washougal police.

Police do not believe Croswell and the Hohstadts knew each other or had any contact before the incident.

Shortly before 5 p.m., a red-colored Jeep Grand Cherokee drove through a chain-link fence on the west side of Sandy Swimming Hole Park, 550 N. Shepherd Road, according to a police department news release. The car continued toward the water and struck a man and woman who were lying on the beach.

The Jeep exited the park on the east side by driving up a berm and through a park sign, according to the news release. Witnesses reported that the Jeep did not slow down while in the park. It was last seen headed east on Shepherd Road away from the park. It was located by police later Tuesday evening.

The Hohstadts were taken to the hospital in critical condition, but both soon died of their injuries, according to the news release.

The Jeep had extensive front-end damage and was missing the front grill, the news release said.

Washougal police and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit are investigating the crash.

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