Washougal man charged in Sandy Swimming Hole deaths

David Croswell, 71, accused of ‘tearing through’ Washougal park in his Jeep, running over German sunbathers

Crowds cool off at the Sandy Swimming Hole in Washougal in July 2017. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the area this week. (Kelly Moyer/Post-Record file photo)

A Washougal man has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide following a fatal hit and run Tuesday at Washougal’s Sandy Swimming Hole Park, which killed two German beachgoers.

Police arrested David E. Croswell, 71, of Washougal, late Tuesday night. He is accused of running over and killing Rudolf Hohstadt, 61, and Regina Hohstadt, 62.

Police say the Hohstadts, of Germany, were visiting family in the Portland-Vancouver metro area and sunbathing on the beach by the Washougal River when Croswell allegedly “tore through the park” in a Jeep Grand Cherokee around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Witnesses told police the Jeep’s driver came through a chain link fence on the west side of the park and ran over the Hohstadts, then proceeded through the park before driving up a berm and through a sign posted on the east side of the city park and popular recreation area.

The Hohstadts were transported to an area hospital with severe injuries but died soon after.

Police located the suspected vehicle and Croswell within five hours of the hit and run.

“Our hearts go out (to) the victims and their family,” stated Washougal Police Commander Allen Cook in a press release issued late Tuesday night.

Police said they expect more charges could be filed against Croswell. Vehicular homicide, a class A felony under Washington law, carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.