An 18-year-old cadet has been fired from Maryland State Police after an investigation revealed he caused a crash that took the life of an area teacher.
The crash was reported during morning rush hour Friday, Aug. 1 along the Capital Beltway.
Sebastian L. Reyes was driving an unmarked state police SUV when he used a crossover for emergency vehicles to access the Outer Loop from the Inner Loop south of Route 50, without lights or siren activated.
Reyes sideswiped 59-year-old Karen Holt-Williams of Temple Hills, who was hospitalized and later pronounced dead.
According to a report obtained by News4, investigators concluded Reyes had failed to control his car's speed to avoid a collision, exceeded the speed limit, conducted unsafe lane changes and failed to drive in a single lane.
Cadets are technically civilian employees of the state without police powers. Documents say Reyes exercised his right to remain silent and didn't talk to investigators. A fellow cadet that was in the passenger seat during the incident told officials the two were on their way to a car wash prior to the crash -- documents say a trooper told the cadets to wash the SUV, and the two wanted to show a sense of urgency en route to the wash.
"When they were first hired, they were told, 'Not to keep the troopers waiting for a long period of time,'" the documents read.
"It seems pretty clear from the facts of the case they were trying to impress their superiors," Stephen Williams, a lawyer for Holt-Williams' family told News4. "They were trying to get the job done quickly and effectively with no regard of how it would impact others."
Maryland State Police won't comment on the report because the investigation is ongoing, but have confirmed Reyes has been terminated from the department. State police officials will meet with the State's Attorney's Office next week, where they'll decide whether or not to press charges.
Holt-Williams, a mother of five, was a beloved teacher in the area, having worked for D.C., Montgomery County and Prince George's County school systems for years.