A 23-year-old Mitchellville, Md., woman has been charged with driving while intoxicated after police said she struck two pedestrians and crashed into a storefront restaurant in Adams Morgan Wednesday night.
News4 has learned that the driver, Chamica Adams, was at District, an 18th Street bar, shortly before the collision.
Two women were struck by the vehicle at 18th Street and Florida Avenue in Northwest, and both have serious injuries, said D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Pete Piringer.
Julia Bachleitner, 26, of Austria, suffered a broken pelvis, a fractured skull and severe head trauma. Melissa Basque, 26, from France has a broken leg and serious head and facial injuries.
Both women had just arrived in D.C. to begin studies at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies near Dupont Circle.
No one in Keren restaurant was hurt. Fire officials are checking the structural integrity of the building.
Adams was also charged with aggravated assault in addition to DWI. News4 has learned that Adams was at an 18th Street bar called District, which was just a few blocks away from the crash, just before the collision.
Court documents showed that Adams was given two blood-alcohol tests. One registered .18 and the other .17 -- that is double the legal limit allowed in the District.
"Drinking and driving is a decision we do not condone. It is dangerous, illegal and leaves innocent victims and their families suffering," a representative for the bar, District, wrote in a press release.
"Our staff is... trained to call a cab for anyone who shows the slightest sign of intoxication when exiting," said the release. "...At no time did Ms. Adams seem or act incoherent or intoxicated. "
Bar management said they've voluntarily provided information to D.C. law enforcement and is participating in the investigation.
Witnesses said the car was traveling at a high rate of speed down 18th Street just before the crash, News4's John Schriffen reported.
"She was coming down 18th Street and was making a left onto Florida," one witness said. "There was another car that was coming up and either turning right onto Florida or was coming across Florida Avenue. And it looked like she was trying to avoid the car, lost control and hit two pedestrians, jumped the curb and ended up crashing into that restaurant."
Witnesses told News4 that in the moments after the crash Adams was yelling that someone had drugged her, until her male passenger told her to stop talking.
The owner of Keren said the restaurant probably will be closed at least for the next two or three days. She said it will hurt her business significantly. Keren is an Eritrean restaurant that serves a lot of people of Muslim faith. The owner said that because the conclusion of Ramadan begins Thursday night, the next two days are usually two of the biggest days of the year for her restaurant.
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