Car slams into Washington, DC festival

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Sunday, June 3, 2007

Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE in Anacostia.

A car plowed into a crowded street festival in Washington, DC Saturday night, injuring up to 40 people, including at least two police officers. The scene occurred in the Anacostia region of the city, during Unifest, an annual street festival sponsored by a local church.

The car, driven by 30-year-old Tonya Bell, of Oxon Hill, Maryland, had a 7-year-old child in the front seat, and was believed to have been traveling at speeds of up to 70 MPH when the incident occurred.

Bell has been charged with aggravated assault while armed for the incident; the child in the vehicle was unharmed. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said the city would "do everything we can to make sure [the victims] get the best care." Witnesses say the car never stopped, and describe the scene as crazy and chaotic.

Event goers, police, and others in the area attempted to stop the car, but say Bell was "doing this purposefully," and she was not going to stop.

Fenty commented that one of the bright spots of this incident was that those who were injured are now being stabilized. Before visiting one of the victims of the incident, a 4-year-old, he said "it looks like everyone is going to pull through."