Maryland

Hit-and-Run Driver That Killed Smithsonian Employee Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison

The driver pleaded guilty after surveillance camera footage showed him running a red light and fleeing the scene

The driver who killed a Smithsonian employee who was riding his bike to work in September will serve 18 months in prison.

Twenty-year-old Phillip Peoples from Suitland, Maryland, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Friday for the hit-and-run death of 64-year-old Thomas Hendricks Hollowell of Arlington, Virginia.

Hollowell was on his way to work Sep. 24 when he was hit by a dark-colored sedan. Police said the driver, Peoples, ran a red light and hit Hollowell at a high speed.

Court documents say Peoples texted someone right after the crash, writing "I jus hit somebody bad...A person on a bike ran a light. It's glass all over me."

But surveillance cameras showed it was Peoples who ran the red light, hitting Hollowell and then driving away from the scene.

Prosecutors said in court that Peoples was scared of being late to work for his job at Safeway.

"This is the worst mistake I've ever made in my life," Peoples said in court. "I deeply wish I could take back what I've done."

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Hollowell's daughter said the apology didn't feel sympathetic, but her family forgives Peoples.

"It didn't seem all that personal to me. I don't know. I believe he's remorseful," Irena Hollowell said.

She said her family is urging for more safety measures on D.C. streets to protect bicyclists, including speed bumps on 12th Street and Constitution Avenue.

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