Police Officer Sentenced to 18 Months in Jail Following Lothian Crash that Left Young Couple Dead

An officer with the Metropolitan Police Department has been sentenced in connection with a 2021 multi-vehicle crash that claimed the lives of a young couple from Calvert County.

According to court records, Austin Kirk Smith, 25, of College Park, pled guilty earlier this year to  two counts of automobile manslaughter for the deaths of Leah Foster (right), and Nicholas Harris, (left).  On March 24, Smith was sentenced to 20 years with all but 18 months suspended.  The 18 months sentence will be served in the county jail.  

Smith must also serve 5 years of supervised probation upon his release.  

On May 27, 2021 at approximately 12:50 a.m., officers arrived to the area of Southern Maryland Boulevard and Lower Pindell Road in Lothian for a multiple vehicle collision involving fatal injuries, the Anne Arundel County Police Department said.  
A Dodge Charger was traveling southbound on MD Route 4 approaching the intersection. A Chevrolet Equinox, occupied by by driver Foster, and passenger Harris, was attempting to cross over MD Route 4 onto Lower Pindell Road and was struck by the Dodge Charger, driven by Austin Smith. 

Smith suffered non-life threatening injuries.  Foster and Harris were pronounced deceased at the scene.

Initially, the police department said the accident was caused by the Equinox failing to yield the right of way.  An subsequent investigation determined that Smith was driving 105 miles per hour leading up to the collision. The speed limit at the intersection is 55 miles per hour.

An obituary dedicated to Foster said she graduated from Calvert County's Northern High School, and worked as a waitress at Adam’s Ribs in Edgewater. "She enjoyed going on road trips, the beach and being with her friends, especially going to Mexico Restaurant. Most of all, Leah loved being a mom to her daughter," the obituary stated. 

Harris' obituary said he also graduated from Northern High School, enjoyed sports and spending time with his girlfriend, Leah, who his parents believe was going to be his soul mate. “She brought a sparkle to his eye that no one had ever seen before," the obituary stated.