Hit-and-run suspect went on rampage before deadly hit-and-run in Falls Church, police say
FALLS CHURCH, Va. - There are more details about the man charged in a fatal hit and run over the weekend in Falls Church.
Forty-six-year-old David Alan Francis is behind bars without bond after police say he crashed into a woman and young boy in a stolen car and then ran from the scene.
And FOX 5 has learned he was on a violent rampage minutes before causing her death.
Today, neighbors of Betty Bernstein-Zazba were seen dropping off flowers at her front doorstep, two days after she was hit and killed by a man in a stolen car less than a mile from her home.
“She was such a great neighbor, she was always so sweet to my kids and we used to see her walking the neighborhood everyday” said Johnathon Wedd who lives down the street.
Bernstein-Zazba was a longtime Senior Advisor for the U.S. State Department in the Bureau of Counterterrorism.
On Saturday just before three in the afternoon, neighbors say she was walking with her 12-year-old son on a popular path along Shreve Road.
Police say Francis came speeding around the curve in a stolen pickup truck and lost control and crashed into Bernstein-Zazba and her son as they were standing in the crosswalk.
Betty’s son was not seriously hurt but she was taken to the hospital where she died.
Francis tried to run from the scene but neighbors tell Fox 5 he was arrested in a nearby parking lot where he attempted to steal another car.
Meanwhile the Loudoun County Sheriff says the 2013 Nissan Titan Francis was driving was reported stolen out of Chantilly five days earlier.
That’s also where investigators say Francis began a violent rampage in the hour before that fatal crash.
Deputies there believe the afternoon of the collision, Francis broke into a garage off Middlesex Drive in Chantilly and then fled in that stolen truck.
Then making his way to Falls Church where he crashed five different times, damaging property and even injuring another driver before mowing down Betty and her son, ending her life.
“It’s probably natural for a lot of people – I thought “What if that had been my family?” it could have been any of us …they were doing everything right and this crazy person came off the road. It really shakes you up,” said Wedd.
Here’s a timeline from Fairfax County Police:
1) Hit/Run (w/injury) Rt 50/Pleasant Valley Rd. 2:15pm
2) Hit/Run (property damage) 7600 block Virginia Ln
3) Hit/Run (property damage) 7600 block Virginia Ln
4) Hit/Run Falls Church City
5) Hit/Run Falls Church City
6) Fatal accident dispatched at 2:47pm.
Police believe Francis was speeding and possibly on drugs at the time of the crash. A toxicology report is still pending. Records show a lengthy criminal history with several traffic violations. His next court date is Sept. 18 at 2 p.m.