An alleged drunken driver indicted in a crash that killed three young siblings and injured their parents turned himself in to police Friday and was later released on bond, court documents say.
Thomas Hawks faces several charges, including three counts of vehicular manslaughter as a result of gross negligence and two counts of causing life-threatening injuries by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Hawks turned himself in Friday and made a court appearance. On Tuesday, he posted an $80,000 bond and was released from jail.
Hawks was driving at a high rate of speed on Indian Head Highway in Oxon Hill about 9:40 p.m. Dec. 30 when he struck a Honda Accord stopped at a traffic light on Indian Head Highway in Oxon Hill, the state's attorney said.
“Mr. Hawks was driving southbound on Route 210 in a Chevy Silverado while heavily intoxicated and impaired,” State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said.
The impact from the Silverado caused the Accord to strike the car in front of it, which then hit another vehicle, police said. The Silverado came to rest on top of the rear-passenger compartment of the Accord.
Five-year-old twins Alexander and Rosalie Mejia and their 1-year-old brother, Isaac, died on impact.
The family had just gone to church, then to a buffet at Rosalie's request.
“Their lives are cut short, but for the time that they were here, they knew nothing but love and joy,” said their father, Alexis Mejia.
He and his wife, Juanita, are still recovering from the injuries they suffered. She said her injuries make it physically painful to mourn her children.
“I have five broken ribs that don’t allow me to even cry,” Juanita Mejia said. “When I cry, I cry with pain not only from my heart. Not only my heart hurts when I cry, but also my body physically.”
She will be in a neck and back brace for at least another six months. Alexis Mejia suffered a concussion.
Hawks had a blood alcohol content of 0.17, more than two times the Maryland legal limit, Braveboy said. He was on his way home from a Washington Redskins game.
“What this person has done to us is something that in hundreds of ways could have been avoided,” Alexis Mejia said.
Hawks faces a maximum penalty of 36 years.
The Mejias said they trust in God there will be justice.
“Even if it’s not time in jail, just his lifetime here on Earth, God will give him what he deserves,” Juanita Mejia said.
They said support of friends and family has helped them.
“Me and my husband and my whole family are overwhelmed with the amount of love and support from everyone around the world,” Juanita Mejia said.
A fundraiser for the Mejia family had raised more than $110,000 by Thursday.
More than 60 people have died in crashes on Indian Head Highway in the past 11 years, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration.
AAA calls the road one of the most dangerous in the D.C. area.
In October, crews installed a new speed camera on the highway following the death of 24-year-old Samira Jenkins in March. A car struck Jenkins near the intersection of Indian Head Highway and Kerby Hill Road. She was on her way to a job interview.