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Rock Creek Parkway Reopens Following Fatal Accident

Rock Creek Parkway was closed this morning between Calvert Street and Massachusetts Avenue due to an accident investigation.

Shortly after midnight, a car traveling north on Rock Creek Parkway left the road and hit a tree near Massachusetts Avenue. Two individuals were killed in the accident, according to reports from the Associated Press.

Traffic on inbound Beach Drive coming out of the zoo tunnel can now continue on to Rock Creek Parkway, according to Maptuit reports.

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  December 8, 2006; 6:47 AM ET
Categories:  Congestion  
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Comments

We came upon this terrible accident moments after it happened, and feel a sense of loss and connection toward the victims. Does anyone know who they were? Thank you.

Posted by: Amy | December 8, 2006 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I saw the car at around 11:15-11:30pm on my way home. Motorists were driving by as if nothing had happened. Does anyone know if the authorities had been called at this point? All of the news broadcasts say that the accident happened after midnight, but I saw it at least a half hour before then. I've thought about this all day, and I feel horrible for not calling the police right away. Please, does anyone know?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 8, 2006 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I heard an unconfirmed report that a husband and wife were killed coming home from a holiday party. If this is true, they left behind a wonderful son (5 years old) and a beautiful daughter who will celebrate her first birthday next week without her parents. Absolutely tragic.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 9, 2006 12:07 AM | Report abuse

I have been hoping to see a write-up on this story. If their children are now orphaned, I'd like to contribute if they need anything. I guess two children who lost their parents just before Christmas, one of whom likely will not even remember them because she is so young, isn't as "newsworthy" as the shootings and stabbings and perversion of politics.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 9, 2006 12:10 AM | Report abuse

It is so distant when the news report reads, "Two individuals were killed," yet so close when the phone call reports that a young couple, Juan and LaTanya Berrera, were killed in this horrible accident. They leave behind two young children--a five year old son and a one year old daughter--and a host of stunned family members.

Posted by: JS | December 9, 2006 8:45 AM | Report abuse

LaTanya and Juan Barrera were killed coming home from the holiday party of the law firm where LaTanya worked. She was a warm and kind person whom everyone loved. On the night of the accident, they had been dancing and having fun with coworkers minutes before this tragedy occurs. Life changes in an instant.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 9, 2006 8:45 AM | Report abuse

The comments that have been made are true. I am the niece of the wife. She left behind her five year old son Alex and her daughter Natalia will be one years old next week. Their kids were everything to them and I still can't belive what has happened.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 9, 2006 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I worked with Juan for years and I have also met his wife. They were two beautiful people inside and out. I am currently out of the country and I received a call about the tragic accident. I couldn't believe it and I still can't. My condolence to their families. Juan and LaTanya were loved by so many peopole.

We love you and you will be missed.

R.I.P.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 9, 2006 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I think that it's a very sad thing to know that two young children lost not one, but both parents and the only inkling of it in the paper is under a small "street closings" article "Rock Creek Parkway Reopens Following Fatal Accident". I am a co-worker of Tanya and was totally devastated by this tragic news. They left behind two beautiful children who for them Christmas will never be the same. My heart goes out to the entire family. Things like this just make us all realize just how precious and fragile life really is. I pray that God will keep her babies in his blessed care at all times and may he bring peace to their family during this time of such great loss. Alex and Natalia may your parents' legacy and love sustain you both throughout your life and you and may you never want for anything. You are both so truly loved. R.I.P. Tanya and Juan.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 9, 2006 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I was devastated to hear my childhood friend died so tragically. As a mother of two I not only mourn for them but for their children. Juan was a resilient a loving guy. If any one could please keep us posted on any burial arrangements??

Posted by: IM | December 9, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I heard that the law firm where the husband works will set up a fund for the kids. The firm is Gibson Dunn. I am also surprised that there hasn't been a story in the paper about this tragedy. How is this not newsworthy?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 9, 2006 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I am outraged that there hasn't been a story about it. They both were on staff at major DC law firms. She worked at Akin Gump. They were a wonderful couple with a beautiful family.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 9, 2006 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Tanya and Juan were amazing. They touched so many lives and will truely be missed. I still can't believe this happened. Alex and Natalia are just as intelligent and beautiful as their parents and will be blessed and loved for the rest of their lives. I love them so much and I'm just happy their together.

Posted by: Erin | December 9, 2006 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I am an extended family member who visited with the family today. We are all extremely saddened by this tragedy. The children are surrounded by many loving family members and friends.

I am in the process of finding out where contributions can be sent for those of you that are interested in supporting the children in this manner. I will be sure to post any additional information as soon as possible.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 9, 2006 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I knew Tanya, and is so painful to believe she is gone. I'm heartbroken for the loss their children and family must be feeling right now. My condolences and prayers go out to them.

Posted by: Michelle | December 10, 2006 2:53 AM | Report abuse

My heart is shattered by the news of this tragedy. Juan and LaTanya were so beautiful together and so very much in love with each other - it was readily apparent to anyone who knew or even met them. That the close of their lives did not merit more than a brief passing reference in "Rock Creek Parkway Reopens Following Fatal Accident" is a disgrace. All of us who knew them can comfort ourselves with the knowledge that they were wonderful individuals who whose presence on this earth will not be forgotten. Please pray for their two precious children and their families.

Posted by: DAP | December 10, 2006 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Latanya and I have been friends since high school and were very close. She and Juan were very much in love and she loved her famil y more than anything, which we mentioned again in a recent email. I live internationally and this tragic news hits very hard...may they both rest in peace. Love to Alex and Natalia. Your parents were awesome!

Posted by: SAC | December 10, 2006 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I saw the accident on the news earlier on that morning, didn't think nothing of it, until my friend who is a police officer was contacted by U.S Park police because they couldn't get in touch with the family, when he told me about what had happened, my heart dropped because I knew them, as a matter of fact we had just gotten together the week before. Two beautiful people that made everybody feel comfortable around them as if you were family, they leave two beautiful children and that's the saddest part of it, they might be gone but their memories will live wth us until the end of time and rest assure that we will look out after the babies...May you rest in peace Juan and Tanya

Posted by: Lito | December 10, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Tanya and Juan were so full of life and spirit. It's still so hard to think that they're gone. They are a reminder that we should all live our lives to the fullest as they did. Our love, thoughts and prayers are with Alex, Natalia, and their family.

Posted by: ST | December 10, 2006 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Latanya one of the most selfless, selfsacrificing friend I knew will be greatly missed. I met Juan once prior to leaving Maryland and would say their energy together was admirable. May they RIP and spirits manifest through the smiles of their beautiful Children. To the rest of the families you will be in prayers as you go through this challenging time

Posted by: leon | December 10, 2006 11:08 PM | Report abuse

JUAN IS MY STEP BROTHER & WHEN I FOUND OUT I DIDN'T WANT 2 BELIEVE IT, & I STILL DON'T WANT 2.
AS I SIT HERE & READ ALL OF THESE COMMENTS IT JUST MAKES ME SO SAD BECAUSE THEY ARE SO TRUE. THE ONLY THING THAT REALLY UPSETS ME IS THAT SOMEONE COULD SEE A CAR ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD LIKE THAT & NOT STOP NOR CALL THE POLICE.
I'M NOT SURE IF YOU ALL KNEW, BUT TANYA DIED BEFORE THE POLICE ARRIVED & JUAN DIED AT THE HOSPITAL. SO IF THAT CAR THAT PASSED & DID NOT STOP WOULD OF OR AT LEAST JUST CALLED THE POLICE THEN "MAYBE" MY STEP BROTHER MIGHT HAVE MADE IT.

IF YOU SEE A CAR ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD THAT HAS BEEN IN A ACCIDENT PLEASE AT LEAST CALL THE POLICE. I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU MAY BE SCARED TO STOP BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY BAD PEOPLE OUT THERE, BUT YOU COULD SAVE SOME ONES LIFE IF YOU JUST PICK UP A PHONE.

THIS IS SUCH A PAINFUL TIME IN OUR FAMILIES. I KNOW WE WILL ALL GET THOUGH IT, BUT IT IS GOING TO TAKE SOME TIME. I WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERONE FOR THERE CONDOLENCESES.

Posted by: TRACY | December 11, 2006 12:18 AM | Report abuse

If anyone is interested in sending anything for the children, please use the address below. The law firm where Latanya
worked has established a fund.

Thank You

Akin, Gump, Strauss & Hauer
Barrera Trust
1333 New Hampshire Avenue,
Washington, DC 20036

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 6:55 AM | Report abuse

I knew Tanya briefly, through business, while she was expecting Natalia. Had met her husand and son also. Just a lovely person and exciting family. With a heavy heart, I extend my condolences to their families. I will keep their children in my prayers.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I knew Tanya as well and I cannot beleive that she is gone. As I sit here writing this it's hard to digest what has happened. God's best to her children and all of her family and friends.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

There have been several fatal accidents at this particular stretch of Rock Creek Parkway. Why have no signs, markers, etc. been put there to warn drivers? Under the best driving conditions, it is a hard road to maneuver. How can one of the prettiest parks in the area be also know as one of the deadliest? The National Park and Planning Commission need to rethink the way roads are marked (or not marked) to avoid another fatality. This is an easy fix. The loss of Tanya and Juan is not.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 11, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I called the Washington Post this morning to protest the fact that no story had been issued concerning this tragedy. Someone from the Post just called me back regarding putting together a story on Juan and LaTanya. Apparently, the Post did not get an alert from the Park Police about the accident, so the proper editors and reporters were unaware until today about this horrible accident. If anyone from the family is interested in providing information to the Post, please contact me at 301-580-1028. Godspeed.

Posted by: Susan | December 11, 2006 4:16 PM | Report abuse

So after reading the comments I have no choice but to believe that it is true that my friend is gone. Latanya and I met at Akin Gump. A group of us girls would eat lunch together every day (except when Tanya and Juan had a lunch date). That is where we shared our many conversations of secrets, our husbands, our children and work. We became good friends in a short time. I'll miss you Tanya. May God be with your family, the babies right now. This is so, so, so terrible.
The news, the newspaper had no information not even a follow up with the releasing of their names.

Posted by: Tonya T | December 11, 2006 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Tanya was my beautician for a small stint. My son played with Alex. I still see the light shinning in Tanya's eyes. She and her husband Juan were blessed and I know that their children -no matter how young -will always remember their parent's love.

Posted by: Tyleah Jenkins | December 11, 2006 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I was saddened to hear about the tragic loss of Juan and LaTanya Barrera. My prayers are with their families. I am a friend and former co-worker of LaTanya. Juan and LaTanya were a beautiful couple, and their children Alex and Natalia are precious. I will always remember LaTanya as a smile specialist, healing everyone she met by the x-ray of her smiles. Juan and LaTanya you will be greatly missed. May you rest in peace.

Posted by: Pervenia | December 12, 2006 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I didn't know Tanya as well as some of her many, many friend, but what I did know of her I cherished. She was such a beautiful person inside and out and was always smiling. I know God will care for those children because they came from wonderful people. My heart and prayers goes out to the children and family of both Tanya and Juan.

Posted by: Ellen F. | December 12, 2006 9:45 AM | Report abuse

LaTanya will be greatly missed. She was always so nice and geniune. We were in highschool together. I only have good memories of her. Choir trips... teasing her about her crush... talking about hair... I pray for her children and her family.

Posted by: krc | December 12, 2006 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Juan was the 'go to' person at work if one was seeking efficiency and professionalism. Perhaps more important, he was a totally decent human being and a loving family man; how he adored his family! I'm so happy his beautiful children will have such a wonderful support system as family and friends will not forget them.

God Bless.

Posted by: A Fellow Worker | December 12, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I knew LaTanya through work at Akin Gump, and the day of the Holiday Party, we were seated not far apart. She introduced me to her husband for the first time. She looked very beautiful that night as always, and I remember teasing her.."Kimora" all night..
she will be missed!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 12, 2006 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The news of Juan and LaTanya hit me like a ton of bricks. Juan was a very special person, always happy and smiling. He never had a bad word to say about anyone. What stood out most about Juan was the love he had for his wife and children. I never met his wife personally but from what I know of her, she seemed to be just as wonderful as Juan. I guess God needed two more angels and Juan and LaTanya were His chosen ones. As a co-worker, I will miss Juan tremendously and pray that his children will be blessed throughout their life time.

Posted by: La Talia McCarter | December 12, 2006 10:32 AM | Report abuse

What is this world coming to? You mean to tell me that people see something this horrific and will not report it to the authorities? I heard this news and everything around me stopped. I can't believe that people are so cruel that they would not have reported this. There is no excuse when I notice that in every other car someone is talking on a cell phone. You mean you couldn't use your cell to call the police. My goodness, this could have saved someone's life. Are people so wrapped up in themselves that they cannot reach out and help someone else? Juan was someone you could always count on. Anytime you needed something in the office, he would get the job done and he always wore a smile. I worked with Juan for quite some years at Gibson, and when I wanted something done efficiently and in a timely manner, Juan was the one to go to. I am so saddened by this. Juan loved his family and always talked about his children. I can only pray that this burden will be lifted off of these wonderful families hearts, and that their beautiful children can get beyond this. My prayers will be with this family during this time of bereavement. God Bless you all.

Posted by: Cynthia Jackson | December 12, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Latanya Brown-Barrera is my first cousin. I still cannot believe that she and Juan are no longer with us. There are no words to explain the grief,pain, and sense of loss that our family is feeling and experiencing right now. We have lost many members but never to something as tragic as this. Latanya and Juan were so in love and were wonderful, proud parents of two young children. As I write this I think of the last time we saw each other which was this summer at a family party that Latanya put together for her father's (my uncle) birthday. We were all together enjoying each others company unaware of what was to come. My memories of Latanya are fond and loving ones, which I will be with me forever. We were a year apart in age and as children spent a lot of time together. We spent countless weekends together, went to church together, got in trouble together. My sister and I learned a lot from Latanya. She taught us how to braid, sing church songs and much more. Needless to say, I am deeply saddened by the loss of my cousin and her loving husband. To whoever may read this, please keep our family in your prayers.

Posted by: Monique Brown | December 12, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I am so taken back by the fact that someone could drive by such a horrible accident and not report it right away. May God rest Juan and LaTanya's souls and keep their children at peace. My prayers also go out to the families, friends and coworkers. I've worked with Juan the past six years and he was nothing but a true gentleman.

Posted by: Donna | December 12, 2006 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Whoever said people didn't report it right away must be confused - I drove by the accident moments after it happened (it was a terrible scene, I'm still a little shaky about it) and called 911 immediately. The park police dispatcher said they'd already gotten several calls, and this was late on a weeknight when traffic was light. So please don't worry.

Posted by: h3 | December 12, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I really need to say something about this tragedy. I was at the AG party where Tanya and Juan were that night. For some reason I could not believe how radiant Tanya looked. There was something more special about her that night than I knew.
It was very sad to hear about the two of them passing from this world as they did. However, I'm finding comfort in that perhaps God was with them that night and calling them home and that was why she looked so radiant. The love that has poured out for Tanya and Juan from so many may be a sign of greater things to come from their living and departure. I hope so?
It brings me tears of sadness of their passing, but tears of joy from the love that is shown on their behalf. May this love always continue to be a part of the lives of those that knew Tanya and Juan. I hope God will watch over their children for the rest of their lives as the fruit of this love.

Posted by: rac | December 12, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse

WOW - - where do I begin. I want to first start off by saying that I am deeply sadened by this heartbreaking news. I met Latanya Barrera at Akin Gump, I was a Temp at the time and she introduced herself to me and I liked her presence the first day. She was a very kind person to everyone she came in contact with. I have a son the same age (5 years old) and we had made plans to spend time together with our sons but never got around to doing so. I am now at another law firm but still remember her so well. I was crushed to hear the news and also that she had given birth to a beautiful daughter just a year ago. This is so unbelievable to me that she is gone and their children will be living without their love. I know that you are not suppose to question God so I can only believe that God sent for his two Angels (Tanya and Juan) to come home. May they RIP and may God watch over their precious children throughtout the rest of their lives. I also want to thank both Firms for setting up Funds on their children/families behalf.

Posted by: Denice Jones-Price | December 12, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made payable to "Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld -Trust Account " with a reference (on the memo line) to "Alex & Natalia Barrera" and mailed to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Human Resources Department, 1333 New Hampshire Avenue, N. W., Washington, DC 20036.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 12, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

it is nearing a week since the horrible accident which took two very loved people from us. it is still so hard to look at alex and natalia, knowing that they will never see their parents again.
i saw tanya & juan at the holiday party and everyone could see how much they were in love and how much they were loved by others.
they will truly be missed. alex looks just like juan and natalia looks just like tanya...
i hope there is a follow up on this story, because tanya & juan deserve it.

Posted by: oc | December 12, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I was deeply saddened to hear of Tanya and Juan's untimely passing. I only pray that as her children grow they will find comfort in knowing and hearing how deeply their parents loved them. I am a former coworker of Tanya's who thought she was a very sweet person with a lovely smile. She will be sorely missed by those whose lives she touched.

Posted by: L. Mancia | December 14, 2006 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Every so often I have to remind myself - sometimes outloud - that "LaTayna isn't here anymore" and tears start trickling down my face. It happens at the odddest times. I had not seen LaTanya in a long time, but I just cannot seem to accept her death, even though I saw the shadow of who she used to be lying in her coffin. When I can, I come back and read the words from those of us that loved both of them. I hope that all of you who posted here will not forget Juan and LaTanya. Gone, but never forgotten.

Posted by: DAP | January 4, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

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