WASHINGTON — A man charged with vehicular manslaughter in an Indian Head Highway crash that claimed the lives of three children in December was released on bail Monday.
Authorities say 27-year-old Thomas Hawks, of White Plains, Maryland was driving under the influence in Oxon Hill heading home from a Redskins game when he crashed into the Mejia family’s car on the evening of Dec. 30.
Five-year-old twins, Alexander and Rosalie, and their 1-year-old brother, Isaac, died on impact. Their parents were seriously injured, but survived.
Hawks was arraigned Tuesday, then posted an $80,000 bond.
At the time of the crash, Hawks had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit. He now faces three counts of vehicular manslaughter as result of gross negligence and two counts of causing life-threatening injuries by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
If convicted, Hawks faces a possible penalty of up to 36 years.
Alexis and Juanita Mejia, the children’s parents, are still recovering from their injuries.
“Their lives are cut short, but for the time that they were here, they knew nothing but love and joy,” Alexis Mejia told NBC Washington, speaking of his three children.
Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski recently announced the establishment of a DWI checkpoint along Maryland Route 210/Indian Head Highway beginning Friday, Feb. 1.
“Please have those difficult conversations,” Stawinski told the community in a news conference. “Driving while intoxicated to any degree must stop.”
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