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Deadly DUI crash on Rock Creek Parkway prompts questions into DC's DMV license suspensions

WUSA-TV Washington, D.C. 5/26/2023 Rafael Sanchez-Cruz

D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen is demanding answers from the District's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) following the deadly March 15 crash on Rock Creek Parkway that killed a Lyft driver and his two passengers. 

In a two-page letter to the DMV Director Gabriel Robinson Allen is requesting that the department detail how 43-year-old Nakita Marie Walker was still driving with a valid D.C. license despite having three previous convictions for driving under the influence in the District. 

"The findings from the court, the convictions, were sent to the DMV, but it seems like they never actually suspended her license as they should have. So, we are trying to figure out what in the world is going on. This is the kind of stuff that actively makes our streets less safe," Allen told WUSA9. 

Walker has been charged with second degree murder charges for the deaths of Mohamed Kamara, 42, of Burtonsville, Maryland; and his two passengers, Jonathan Cabrera Mendez, 23 of Arlington, Virginia; and Olvin Torres Velasquez, 22, also from Arlington. 

Walker had a blood alcohol content of .10, which is .02 over the legal limit, according to court documents.

She has also been convicted for driving under the influence three times prior to the March crash. The cases happened in 2015, 2018, and 2020, according to court documents. Prosecutors also pointed out that she has other DUI charges filed in Virginia. 

In addition to Walker's previous DUI convictions, the Lexus she was driving had several outstanding traffic citations at the time of the crash totaling more than $12,000. 

"The District is not doing a good job to keep dangerous drivers off our streets," said Allen who has also requested details about the DMV's process to suspend licenses. 

"I am not sure that there aren't more people that the court sent over and that the DMV has not taken action on. So that's deeply troubling because we have dangerous drivers out there right now that shouldn't even have a license," Allen added. 

During a Tuesday roundtable Deputy Mayor for Operations and Infrastructure, Lucinda Babers told the DC council's Committee on Transportation and the Environment that the courts had not notified the DMV of Walker's previous DUI convictions. 

A spokesperson for the D.C. Court denied those allegations saying in a statement, "Evidence has been shared with District officials, indicating the computer transmissions of information in the cases connected to Ms. Nakita Walker were each successfully shared with the DC DMV's computer system." 

Mayor Muriel Bowser addressing the issue during a Wednesday news conference telling reporters, "I actually think this sounds like a technology solution, to fix that would make us safer on the roads and that will have my full attention."

The DMV has exactly one week, June 1, to provide these answers to the council. 

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