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Car Wash Employee Charged in Crash That Killed Co-Worker

A man who police say caused a chain-reaction accident that killed his co-worker at a Northern Virginia car wash is now facing an involuntary manslaughter charge. 

Jose Escobar-Santos, 19, was arrested Friday and charged with the death of Paula Margarita Rogel, Prince William County police say. 

Rogel, 38, was fatally injured March 24 while working the Soap and Suds Carwash in Manassas.

Prince William County Police said Escobar-Santos was attempting to move a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee from the back entrance after it had been washed, but as the SUV moved forward, it collided with a 2011 Dodge Ram, which then hit a 2011 Scion SD. The vehicle then struck Rogel.

Rogel, who went by Margarita, died at a hospital.

Her sister, Emily Rogel, said Margarita had worked at the car wash for more than a year. She was originally from El Salvador and was raising her two sons in the U.S. Her other child, a daughter, lives with other family members in El Salvador.

Emily Rogel says her sister lived for her children. But now Emily will be the one to raise her two nephews.


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"She was always happy, optimistic, positive.... it didn't matter the circumstances," Emily said of her sister in Spanish. 

Escobar-Santos is being held without bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 19. 

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