DC police officer charged with manslaughter in Lothian crash that killed young couple

A D.C. police officer is charged with manslaughter, negligent and reckless driving in the May 27, 2021 Maryland crash that killed 23-year-old Leah Mae Foster and 21-year-old Nicholas Raymond Harris.

Austin Kirk Smith, 26, of College Park, Maryland, is currently on administrative leave, according to Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Shortly after the crash, Anne Arundel County police said the SUV that Foster and Harris were in failed to yield, while making a left turn from Maryland Route 4 onto Lower Pindell Road, when they were hit by the 2018 Dodge Charger driven by Smith in Lothian.

Now, after a crash reconstruction review, Smith has been charged with two felony counts of manslaughter, two misdemeanor counts of negligent driving, as well as traffic citations for reckless driving and negligent driving.

Smith was charged in a criminal information on March 25. He was not arrested and made a first court appearance on April 18, according to online court records.

He’s due back in court on June 10 for a status conference.

WTOP is seeking additional information from the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s office, on what led to the charges being filed.

Editor’s note: Corrects victim’s name.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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