June 18 will mark the 20-year anniversary of what is believed by county police to be Fairfax County’s deadliest traffic accident.
On that date in 1992, four teenagers were killed at the intersection of Va. 7 and Lewinsville Road after the driver of the car they were in turned into the path of a dump truck, which pushed the car into another dump truck. A memorial marker has stood at the spot of the accident for nearly 20 years.
According to police reports and retired police detective J.D. Bean, who investigated the case, Pam Hawver, then 49, was the driver of the car and mother of one of the teenagers.
Hawver survived the crash but could not be located for comment.
According to police, Hawver and her 15-year-old daughter Robin were in the front of the four-door Oldsmobile sedan and three other teens, Kendra Kristinsen,15, of Sterling; Jeremy Daly, 15, of Vienna; and Scott Sloan, 16, of Vienna, all were in the back.
According to Bean — who did not wish to be quoted directly — the crash occurred at 2:55 p.m. when Hawver, who was heading eastbound on Va. 7, attempted a left turn onto Lewinsville Road while the traffic light was red and was broadsided by a dump truck driven by a Fairfax man, Willis E. Brown. Bean said Brown was not charged in the incident. Brown also was not able to be located for comment.
Bean said Hawver was cited with reckless driving, but that the record of that citation has long since been destroyed. “Fairfax County only keeps those records for seven years,” said police spokesman Eddy Azcarate.
Bean said Hawver’s vehicle was pushed by Brown’s truck into another dump truck that was being driven by Lewis Alexander, then 44, of Falls Church. At the time, Alexander worked for B&D Trucking Corp.
Now 64, Alexander is retired but said he still can remember the incident as clearly as the day it happened.
“I was just sitting at the red light,” he said last week. “I had been transporting some rock from a quarry in Leesburg to some job I was working at on Lewinsville Road. I saw the Oldsmobile make a left turn onto Lewinsville Road from Route 7 against the red light and get hit by that truck, which had the right of way.”
Alexander said the memory is one he never will forget.
“The truck pushed that car into me. I felt a tremendous jolt to my truck and my head hit the ceiling, hurting my neck a little. I couldn’t get out of the truck on the driver’s side because the car was up against it,” he remembered. “As I went to get out of the truck on the passenger side, there was a kid laying there on the ground and I didn’t know where he had come from or anything. There was blood coming out of his ears, so I assumed he was dead. When I stepped down out of the truck, I saw two more kids under it.”
Alexander said he was taken to the hospital and his physical wounds healed but the image of the teens never has left him.
“I carry that with me to this day,” he said. “I can still see them every day. I still live in Falls Church and go by that Lewinsville Road memorial all the time.”
Alexander said it took him many years to come to grips and peace with the incident.
“I was just sitting still at that red light and got hit myself,” he said. “I think I was finally able to come to peace with it all because I knew in my heart that it was not my fault. I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
According to Fairfax County police, the Lewinsville accident is only the second within the county that has ever claimed four lives, and the only one to take the lives of four teens.
The other four-person fatality car accident occurred on Oct. 20, 1986 on Shirley Highway.