Washougal man charged in Sandy Swimming Hole deaths

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

Kelly Moyer/Post-Record The Sandy Swimming Hole Park in Washougal, pictured here in July 2017, regularly attracts dozens of beachgoers and swimmers on a sunny day. Police say a Washougal man in his 70s "tore through" the park in his Jeep Tuesday, killing two German visitors who were on the beach.

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.