Ruby Whitfield hit-and-run suspect Joel Bromwell to be sentenced

Ruby Whitfield, 71, was killed when Bromwell hit her in a DUI crash. Photo: Whitfield family

The man who pleaded guilty to hitting and killing a 71-year-old woman with his car in March near her Florida Avenue church will be sentenced Friday morning.

Joel Bromwell pleaded guilty May 1 to involuntary manslaughter and DUI in connection to the March 21 crash that killed 71-year-old Ruby Whitfield.

Prosecutors say that Bromwell was on his phone and under the influence when he hit Whitfield in the 1100 block of Florida Avenue Northeast, then briefly fled.

Whitfield, who had just left a planning meeting for Palm Sunday and Easter festivities ad New Samaritan Church, was in a marked crosswalk when Bromwell hit her.

Officials say that Bromwell had been drinking at the Cobalt Club in Northwest before the crash. He said he knew he had hit something or someone when the crash happened, but instead of stopping, he panicked and drove away.

He faces 30 years in prison on the manslaughter charge and six months on the DUI charge.

In conjunction with the guilty plea, Mayor Vincent Gray announced that a long-sought traffic signal would be installed at the crosswalk where Whitfield was killed.