GU grad involved in deadly D.C. crash

By the

January 22, 2004

A recent Georgetown graduate slammed into the back of a car carrying five passengers on Sunday night, killing a student from American University. Shelly Wentworth (NHS ‘03) is free on bail and faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and driving while intoxicated.

At 9:30 p.m. at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Edmunds Street, N.W., Wentworth, driving a maroon Subaru, crashed into the back of an old Buick, throwing Andy Burr, 20, through the windshield. He was transported to the George Washington University Medical Center along with another passenger.

Burr was pronounced dead at 9:40 p.m., while the other passenger was in stable condition. The three remaining passengers were treated for minor injuries and released from Georgetown University Hospital.

Wentworth, 22, graduated from Georgetown in May 2003 after a stellar sailing career. She was named an All-American in 2003 and MVP of the women’s sailing team her senior year.

At her hearing on Monday, prosecutors said that she made no attempt to brake and that she had a blood alcohol level of .13 percent, exceeding the legal limit by .05 percent. They called for her to be placed in a halfway house, a common destination for those awaiting trial in the District.

Instead, the judge released Wentworth on the condition that she refrain from drinking or driving and adhere to a 2 a.m. curfew. Her trial is set for Feb. 6.

Burr, a British student, was the lead singer in a local punk rock band. Becca Lane, Burr’s girlfriend, told NBC4 that he transferred to American so they could be together.

The school is currently planning memorial services for him, in accord with the wishes of his family. “The University is saddened by this news and what took place. We are doing whatever we can to help those involved. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the student who passed away,” said Todd Sedmak, media relations director for A. U.

A. U. is offering students same-day appointments at the counseling center to help with the grieving process. “There is no manual for this, [but] listening can help,” he said.

Claude Anderson, a manager at Clyde’s of Georgetown, where Wentworth has worked for two weeks, expressed sympathy for Burr’s family and friends as well as for Wentworth.

“It’s a horrible thing for everyone, not least of all for her,” he said. “She’s a wonderful person, maybe at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Michael Callahan, head coach of the co-ed sailing team declined comment.

One of the students in the car, Ahmed Nzibo, 21, is the son of the Kenyan ambassador to the United States as well as a junior at American.

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