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Guardian: Man traumatized by fatal crash

/ Source: The Associated Press

A man who drove his car into a crowd of street-racing fans tried to stop by slamming on the brakes and is traumatized by the tragedy that left eight people dead, his guardian said Tuesday.

Darren Bullock, 20, has been “like a zombie” ever since the crash along an isolated stretch of highway early Saturday, said James Walls, who raised Bullock from childhood.

Bullock was driving his brother home from a band practice session shortly before 4 a.m. when he came up on the spectators standing in the road, Walls said. Bullock slammed on his brakes but the car struck the crowd that had gathered to watch two street racers speed off.

Contrary to witness reports, Walls said, Bullock had the car’s headlights on and does not remember seeing smoke kicked up by the racing cars.

“We feel sorry for the victims,” Walls said Tuesday at his Waldorf town house. He said Bullock is “pretty much a victim, too.”

Walls said he was consulting with a lawyer and that Bullock was not available for comment. Bullock was questioned by police at the scene early Saturday, but no charges have been filed. Authorities were still looking for the drivers involved in the street race.

Bullock and his older brother were not seriously injured — Bullock sustained just a bruised lip, Walls said. But he worries that Bullock will be haunted by memories, and he refuses to drive anymore, especially at night.

“This is a 20-year-old man who was just coming up the road,” Walls said. “His life is changed forever.”

Prince George’s County Police officer Cpl. Clinton Copeland on Tuesday appealed to those who witnessed the crash to come forward with their accounts. He would not comment on details of the investigation, saying it could take weeks.

Route 210 is a thoroughfare with two lanes in each direction. The speed limit is 55 mph in the area of the accident.

Mourners continued to visit the scene of the crash, leaving candles, flowers, photographs and stuffed animals.

Authorities identified the victims as Otis Williams, 35, of Indian Head; Milton Pinkney, 41, of La Plata; Mark Courtney, 33, of Leonardtown; Daryl Wills, 38, of Clinton; Maycol Lopez, 20, of Gaithersburg; Blaine Briscoe, 49, of La Plata; William Gaines, 61, of Nanjemoy; and Ervin Gardner, 39, of Oxon Hill.