Guilty plea in crash that killed 2 on DC park bench; driver was drunk and speeding

A 57-year-old man who crashed his SUV into a downtown D.C. park over the summer, killing two people sitting on a bench, has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter charges, federal prosecutors say.

Jeoffrey R. Williams, of Southeast D.C., was drunk and driving more than 40 mph over the limit when his 2003 GMC Yukon plowed into James Monroe Park at about 11:45 p.m. July 10, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Dwight Thomas Spriggs, 42, and Jesus Antonio Llanes-Datil, 63, who were sitting on a park bench, were both killed instantly in the crash, prosecutors said.

Williams pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter Nov. 8 and will be sentenced in February. He faces a maximum of six to 10 years in prison. Williams had originally been charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

Prosecutors said Williams was speeding westbound on the wrong side of Pennsylvania Avenue before he crashed into the park near 21st Street. Data recovered from the SUV’s crash data recorder indicated Williams was driving 68 mph — in a 25 mph zone — and never braked before crashing into the park bench, according to prosecutors.

Williams was also injured in the crash and was taken to the hospital. He later told police he had been drinking tequila and red bull at a friend’s house earlier that night. Toxicology tests revealed he was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

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