- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 11, 2002

A U.S. Park Police officer was killed early yesterday when a car driven by a 20-year-old woman suspected of being drunk barreled through flares and orange highway cones and struck the officer as he investigated another fatal crash, police said.
Officer Hakim Farthing, 28, of Alexandria was pronounced dead by a Maryland State Police helicopter paramedic near the top of the southbound Baltimore-Washington Parkway ramp just outside the District that leads to New York Avenue NE, Park Police spokesman Sgt. Scott Fear said.
"It appears that he was killed on impact," Sgt. Fear said. "This is a true tragedy. He carried a smile on his face all the time and he never complained."
Jovada Welch, 20, of Silver Spring is being held without bond at the Prince George's County jail in Upper Marlboro before an expected appearance at U.S. District Court in Greenbelt tomorrow morning, Sgt. Fear said.
Miss Welch was charged with involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Park Police Chief Teresa C. Chambers cut short her attendance at a Seattle conference for female executives in law enforcement to return to Washington last night.
"You can't get back fast enough to be with your police family. Part of my family has been torn away," Chief Chambers said shortly after her arrival. "There's a feeling of profound sadness that comes over the police force."
Officer Farthing was set to complete two years with the department in October.
Other Park Police officers investigating the earlier crash at the bottom of the New York Avenue ramp removed Miss Welch from a Pontiac Sunfire on which the left front was damaged and the windshield smashed, Sgt. Fear said.
Miss Welch's car hit Officer Farthing at the top of the ramp and continued traveling the length of the ramp about 350 yards before stopping at the bottom, Sgt. Fear said. Her demeanor toward arresting officers was "belligerent," he said.
Miss Welch was taken to an area hospital for a blood-alcohol test, Sgt. Fear said, but he did not know the results. Additional charges were pending, the police spokesman said.
Traffic snarled yesterday on the southbound lanes of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, which were closed from Cheverly, Md., to the District until about 3 p.m. during the investigation.
Officer Farthing was struck and killed about 3:35 a.m. while posted at a segment of the federal parkway that was closed because of the one-car accident, which occurred around 1:30 a.m. and left the male driver burned beyond recognition, Sgt. Fear said.
Police said that vehicle was traveling west on Route 50 into the District when the driver lost control. The car rolled over and later caught fire. Police last night were trying to determine the driver's identity.
A Philadelphia native and Army veteran, Officer Farthing was known by fellow officers as happy and content in his work, Sgt. Fear said.
"We move on and carry the tradition that Officer Farthing would have wanted us to," Chief Chambers said.
The chief was not sure whether Officer Farthing was among the officers she has met since her appointment in February.
Officer Farthing was single and his parents live in New Jersey, Sgt. Fear said.
The last Park Police officer to die on duty was Sgt. Ricky Preston, who suffered a heart attack in 1988 during SWAT training in the District.
Officer Raymond L. Hawkins died in 1972, two months after being shot during a holdup at a 7-Eleven in Prince George's County.

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