Silver Spring Man, James Chandler, Facing Involuntary Manslaughter Charge in Violent D.C. Crash - NBC4 Washington

Silver Spring Man, James Chandler, Facing Involuntary Manslaughter Charge in Violent D.C. Crash



    Md. Man Charged in Violent Downtown D.C. Crash

    News4's Chris Gordon spoke with the father of a pedestrian who was killed when a speeding driver crashed on top of him in downtown DC Monday. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015)

    A 33-year-old Silver Spring man with a history of violations on his driving records is facing involuntary manslaughter charges following a fatal crash in downtown D.C. Monday.

    Court documents obtained by News4 document a dangerous and violent series of events that began with the driver, James Chandler, speeding through H Street NW just before 5 p.m.

    Police said Chandler sideswiped a car, then fled the scene, struck a second car from behind, and kept driving on H Street toward 4th Street NW. Chandler then drove in the wrong lanes, traveled diagonally across the intersection, struck a traffic light, construction sign, three newspaper dispenser boxes and a retaining marble wall in front of the  U.S. Government Accountability Office, documents said.

    "I just heard an explosion, a large crash," witness Randi Berkovsky said.

    Involuntary Manslaughter Charges for Md. Driver

    [DC] Involuntary Manslaughter Charges for Md. Driver
    A young lawyer in the District was killed walking down the sidewalk when he was hit by an SUV that flipped over on H Street NW. News4's Kristin Wright was in court with the driver of the SUV Tuesday and reports on the questions over what caused him to crash.
    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015)

    After hitting the marble wall, his SUV flipped and rolled several times along a sidewalk, crushing 27-year-old Philip Snodgrass, who died from massive blunt force trauma. Snodgrass worked with the National Federation of Federal Employees as an assistant general counsel. 

    "[Philip] was a very compassionate, loving young man who had tremendous promise," his father, Jeff Snodgrass, told News4. "He was one of these people who was doing all the right things."

    Snodgrass was on his way to Georgetown Law Center, where he attended night classes and worked toward a Doctorate degree when the accident occurred. 

    Another pedestrian was struck by crash debris and suffered minor injuries. 

    Documents said Chandler made no effort to use his brakes during the incident, and had been traveling approximately 65 mph in a 25 mph zone.

    "I just feel very blessed because I walked by the scene probably 15 or 20 seconds before it happened and I really could have been one of those pedestrians," Berkovsky said.

    SUV Crashes Atop Pedestrians in DC; 1 Killed

    [DC] SUV Crashes Atop Pedestrians in DC; 1 Killed
    It's not yet known what caused the driver of an SUV to lose control, crashing and flipping atop two pedestrians during rush hour in downtown D.C. Monday. News4's Chris Gordon reports.
    (Published Monday, Feb. 23, 2015)

    Police officers who interviewed Chandler after the crash said he appeared unfocused and slow-moving, consistent with drug use. Chandler wouldn't say whether he had used PCP in that instance, but said he had smoked it in the past.

    He told police he bought a $5 cigarette prior to the crash at a gas station on New York Avenue, which is the last thing he said remembered until he woke up in the hospital hospital. Chandler also told police he had recently undergone dental surgery, and was taking Motrin, Percocet and an anti-biotic, as well as Tripatol, Lexapro and Aderrall.

    Chandler was in court Tuesday and ordered behind bars without bond. He's due in court March 7.

    3 Injured in DC Crash

    [DC] 3 Injured in DC Crash
    News4's Chris Gordon reports from 4th and H streets NW where three people were hospitalized following a crash Monday afternoon.
    (Published Monday, Feb. 23, 2015)