Victim's family speaks out about deadly DC hit-and-run being investigated as a homicide

Daniel Olaya (Courtesy of family)

A heartbroken family wants answers about a deadly hit-and-run crash now being investigated as a homicide in Northwest Washington.

“This is something that’s going to live with us for the rest of our lives. That he was taken from us too soon and for something so stupid,” said the victim’s sister, Becky Olaya.

It happened at about 1:45 a.m. on Feb. 5.

DC Police say that’s when the driver of a black SUV intentionally hit 35-year-old Daniel Olaya, after the two men got into an argument on 4th Street, NW.

Police say Olaya was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. He died the next day on Feb. 6.

Investigators have located the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run, but are still searching for the driver.

“I want him to turn himself in, if he has any type of heart,” Becky Olaya said. “I don’t know if he has a brother or a sister himself, but I would ask him to put himself in my shoes. How would he feel if I ran over his sibling just because I got angry at that person?”

Olaya has spoken to several of her brothers friends who were with him when he was hit, and says she believes it was a case of road rage turned deadly.

“They told me they were walking down 4th Street, and the car went down the street quickly and almost hit all three of them at the beginning, so they screamed to him to slow down. And they told me the car just stopped really quick and reversed towards where they were,” she said. “And he started to talk to them in a bad way out of his window.”

Her brother’s friends say the driver then got out of the car and confronted them.

“From what I understand, he threatened my brother and told him he had a gun in the car. And that’s when he went back to the car, supposedly to get the gun. And that’s when my brother took a chance of taking a picture of the license plate and started walking away.”

She says her brother was hit from behind moments later.

“I guess it infuriated the driver to see he took a picture of the license plate number,” she said. “And he just hit him, full force from behind. From what I understand, my brother landed on the hood.”

DC Police are offering a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone that provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of that driver.

“I don’t understand the reason why this happened,” Olaya said. “It makes us angry to see that my brother died that way. Over road rage. That’s what it was.”

Daniel Olaya leaves behind a 3-year-old son, along with his sister, his parents, and a long list of friends and loved ones.

He grew up in Bowie. On Wednesday night, the Olaya family gathered there, at the home where Daniel lived with his sister. Together, relatives shared memories and they grieved.

“He was really loved,” Olaya said. “Always wanting to help people, always with a huge smile on his face that would brighten up the room.”

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