Gallaudet University

‘Very Angry': Family of DC Crash Victim Enraged to Learn Driver Accused in Hit-and-Run

The driver was charged in a 2015 hit-and-run that severely injured a Gallaudet University student

The family of a young woman seriously injured when a dump truck struck her wants answers after learning the driver was involved in a crash that maimed another pedestrian two years ago.

Bianca Butler, 23, was walking down South Dakota Avenue NE on Tuesday, when a dump truck hit her. Her family feared she might not be able to walk again.

"You can imagine the phone call. That was the rough part, the phone call that I got. And the chill just went through my body because that's my child. I don't wish that for any mother," Bianca's mother, Kimberly Butler, told News4.

"She said he had the stop sign and he didn't stop," said Bianca's grandmother, Daisy Butler.

Sources told News4 that two years ago the driver of the truck, 62-year-old Ismael Alvarez, hit and seriously injured 22-year-old Ethan Zimmerman. The Gallaudet University student was walking in a crosswalk on Florida Avenue.

"That was my baby and he just drove off. Left my beautiful boy on the side of the road and drove away," Ethan's mother, Allison Zimmerman, said.

According to court records, Ethan Zimmerman suffered injuries to his brain, broken bones in his legs and arms and other internal wounds. He went through several operations and spent months in a hospital.

Alvarez was charged with hit-and-run in 2015 in connection with the crash, but he never showed up for trial, court documents show. After the crash this week, he was arrested in the 2015 case.

"I'm shocked that he still has a job in the trucking industry. I'm shocked. It shouldn't be," Allison Zimmerman said.

Ethan Zimmerman named Alvarez in a $25 million lawsuit against Fort Myer Construction Corporation, the company for which Alvarez works.

Butler's family members say they don't understand why Fort Myer Construction allowed Alvarez to continue driving after the 2015 crash.

"I don't think he should've been driving that truck... That's the only thing that P's me off, is that he shouldn't be driving that truck," said Charles Butler, Bianca Butler's grandfather.

"She'll be scarred for life. I'm very angry," Daisy Butler said. "He should never have been behind the wheel." 

Fort Myer Construction Corporation gave the following statement to News4:

“Safety is our top priority. We are looking into what happened, and we are also working closely with local authorities as they investigate the circumstances of the July 11th accident involving one of our drivers. For any details regarding the accident, you should contact the local police.”

Alvarez is still awaiting trial in the 2015 crash.

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