Family of crash victims speak out
A family devastated by a fatal vehicle crash in Oxon Hill that claimed three lives is now speaking out about their loved ones and the dangers of drunk driving.
Killed in the crash were Eugene Johnson, 53, his wife, Cordelia Roberts, and her sister Gwendolyn Demby, 52. The crash occurred early Sunday morning when a car they were traveling in was rear ended by an alleged drunk driver on Indian Head Highway in Oxon Hill.
“We’re enraged over the fact that this was totally preventable,” said Alton Bryant, a relative.
The family, who spoke exclusively to ABC7, talked through tears and heartache over their loss.
Johnson’s daughter, who will be married sometime next year, looked forward to planning the wedding. But instead, she’s now forced to organize funeral arrangements.
Johnson, who was driving, worked for the government but had a true passion for magic and hypnotism. He was booked to perform at Annandale High School’s graduation, family members said. His moto in life was “be the best” – a phrase that meant so much to him that he had it on a vanity
"He was a genuinely happy caring person and he will be greatly missed," said Melissa Byrd, his daughter.
His wife, Roberts, worked for the Fairfax County. Demby worked as a web publisher and graphic designer. Her husband, Tim Demby, was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash and sustained serious injuries. He was recently released from the hospital.
The driver of the GMC Yukon that struck the victims stayed at the scene of the crash, as his vehicle was disabled, police said. The driver and passenger of the Yukon weren’t injured. Police said both were under the influence of alcohol.
The driver was taken into custody and charges are pending, police said.
Johnson’s two daughters said they’d miss the weekly telephone calls with their father, where they would catch up on their lives.
"Even as we're going through it I keep wanting to call him and say hey daddy what do you want on your tombstone or hey daddy what do you want," said Nakita Johnson, Johnson's daughter. "And then I think oh wait, that's why we're doing this."
- Tim and Gwendolyn Demby. (Photo: Courtesy of family)
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