Document: Suspect Arrested in Traffic Fatality

The Metropolitan Police Department arrested Oct. 19 the driver of a Mercury Grand Marquis and charged him with second-degree murder and possession of PCP, a hallucinatory drug.

According to a press release, Rodney Bell was allegedly driving the Marquis at a high speed on South Capitol Street, SW around 3 a.m. The Marquis hit the rear of a Volkswagen Passat when it was stopped at a red light.

After hitting the Passat, the Marquis slid down the street, striking the rear of a Toyota Corolla that was also stopped at a red light on South Capitol Street and Galveston Street, SW. The Marquis then jumped a curb, hitting a traffic signal on the 4700 block of South Capitol Street, SW and caught on fire, the release said.

Bell’s passenger, 32-year-old Kevin Thomas, died on the scene. Bell, 42, was taken to an area hospital and later charged.

Bell’s court appearance has been continued four times because he is in the hospital. His next appearance is scheduled for Oct. 25.

View photos of the crash from WTOP.

Editors Note: Bell was presented in court Nov. 21. He is being held without bond as he awaits a preliminary hearing scheduled for Nov. 30.