D.C. Firefighter Charged With Murder After Drag Racing Crash Kills Man, 24

A D.C. firefighter has been charged with murder after police say he raced another car on 16th Street NW this summer and contributed to a fatal crash.

Off-duty firefighter Ryan Thompson, 22, was racing another driver when the second car slammed into a third car early the morning of Sunday, July 19, police said. The horrific crash at 16th and Madison streets NW, near Military Road, killed Matthew Roth, 24.

Witnesses told police Thompson and the driver of the other car, Rasheed Murray, 28, hit speeds over 90 mph as they raced north along 16th Street NW about 3 a.m. Murray's Acura swerved across the median, went airborne, landed on a Volvo and burst into flames, according to witnesses.

The driver of that Volvo was Roth, an accountant and University of Maryland graduate who had been headed home. Roth received severe injuries and died later that day.

Murray, of Northeast D.C., was charged with second-degree murder shortly after the crash. Police believe he had been drunk. Moments after the crash, an officer asked Murray to count backwards from 21 to 9. Murray said "20, 19, 18" and then fell asleep, a police report says. He also struggled to recite the alphabet, police said.

Matthew Roth's father, Dave Roth, said he wants justice for his son.

"We're going to be suffering for the rest of our lives and they should suffer also," he said. "These weren't two young kids who didn't know better. These were two adults."

Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.

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