Fairfax crash: Marquette Bell killed; teen driver charged
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJLA) - It was a chilling scene: a quiet street early Saturday morning, strewn with car debris.
The aftermath of a violent, high-speed crash. The driver, a 15-year old boy.
His passenger, 14-year old Marquette Bell, did not survive.
"I'm kind of numb right now," says Patricia Wright, Bell's great-aunt. "Evidently, (they) had hit a car and they was speeding, and they hit something, and Marquette was killed instantly."
Wright says she's been told only the bare bones of what happened. That a Virginia State Trooper spotted the Honda the boys were in, around 12:45 am.
Police say it was speeding at 100 miles per hour, moving erratically, on westbound Route 236, near the Fairfax City line.
Authorities say when the trooper hit his lights, the Honda blew through a stop-light, at the intersection of Fairfax Parkway and Route 50, and smashed into a Toyota.
"It was a really, really terrible sound," recalls Yassin Fereja. "The only thing when I was hit was like 'boom'."
From a couch in his Fairfax living room, Fereja recounted how he was driving home from his job as a parking supervisor in the District, when his Toyota was struck without warning.
He says he had a green light, and never saw the Honda coming.
"This is like, god protect me really. I'm really glad, because the accident was not easy."
The 61-year old says his shoulder is injured, and he has a broken arm. He's to undergo surgery in about a week.
Police say the Honda driver tried to run off, but a state trooper quickly apprehended him.
The 15 year old was only slightly injured. He faces involuntary manslaughter, and other charges.
Wright quietly spoke of how her great-nephew had been troubled in recent weeks. She even set up counseling for him.
But she didn't expect this.
"I'm kind of angry with the other guy, but Marquette made a bad decision," Wright declares. "I hope Marquette's little friends and acqaintances will see sometimes making a bad decision can be fatal."
In another part of Southeast, Charles Grayton is still trying to take it all in.
"I think it's tragic," he says.
Just an hour before the Fairfax crash, two teen boys carjacked Grayton's Honda Accord, as he was pulling in curbside at his Newcomb Street home.
Grayton says one of them held his hand in his pocket--- making it appear he had a gun.
"He said we need this car," Grayton, 71 says. "I said this is a 20-year-old car, you don't need this car. He said 'I'll pop you.' Uh-oh. I got out immediately."
Police later told Grayton it was his car involved in the Fairfax crash, telling him his car had been recovered, but that the damage was extensive and, that someone had died.
"The fact that somebody lost their life is horrible, over something so minute, something so senseless," says Grayton's daughter Mosiah.
Police have not linked Bell or the Honda driver with the carjacking, And as yet, no carjacking charges have been filed.
Whether this was a simple joyride, or something else, is unclear.
But no matter what the motive, Grayton is troubled by the damage done, and a young life lost.
"I wish that it had never happened", he says. "I'd have my car and those boys be alive, or that one boy be alive and the other one wouldn't be locked up."