OAKTON, Va. — An 18-year-old was indicted Thursday after he crashed his car into teen pedestrians on June 7, leaving two of them dead and a community mourning.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced the indictment on 18-year-old Usman Shahid on involuntary manslaughter charges for hitting and killing two Oakton High School students. Each count is a felony carrying up to ten years of prison time.
“This is a tragic incident that could have been avoided, and our hearts break for the families of these two young girls,” Descano said. “There are no winners in this situation. I am committed to working toward accountability in a manner that promotes healing for the families involved and our wider community.”
The crash happened at the intersection of Blake Lane and Five Oaks Road, just south of Oakton High School, around 11:45 a.m., shortly after the high school dismissed students for the day.
Police determined that Shahid was speeding in a BMW and barreled into another car in an intersection before running into three teens who were on the sidewalk near the intersection. One survived the crash.
Shahid and his teen passenger were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
At a press conference Thursday, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said Shahid was believed to be driving 81 mph at the time of the first crash. The posted speed limit is 35 mph. Davis said his department is not aware of any intention to charge the passengers in Shahid's car, who ran away from the scene.
"The heart of the matter is driving behaviors, particularly by young people," Davis said. "This was not defensive driving at all."
Friends and family created a roadside memorial for the Oakton High School students, several of whom came to mourn and pay their respects after the crash.
“I heard the news and my body was just shaking for like a good hour thinking about who was the ones who passed away and the one in the hospital,” Ihab Raihanoune, a freshman at Oakton High School, said.
Still seemingly in shock, Raihanoune said he was thinking of his long-time friend who survived the crash.
“My mom came to pick me up early because the only thing that's going through my mind is what happened and especially because it's so close," he said, noting that it was too difficult to be in class the day after the crash. "I pass this route every single day on my bus."
Since the incident, the school has had a crisis team on campus to help any student or staff member process the news.
"As a community, we have to do better," Jeff McKay, the chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, tweeted Tuesday night. "This is a somber reminder to motorists that people’s lives are in your hands whenever you get on the road. We want to move people, not just vehicles, safely. It’s on each of us to be mindful of pedestrians, the speed limit & distracted driving."
Shahid was set to be arraigned in Circuit Court Thursday morning.