Memorial to Allan L. Nairn

End of Watch: November 30, 1969
Rank: Officer   Badge No. 65
Age: 47   Years of Service: 19 years
Location of Death:  Delaware Avenue and D Street, NE
Duty Assignment:  Traffic Division

 

Circumstance:

While on duty and operating a departmental vehicle, Detective Nairn was driving west on D Street. A stolen vehicle being chased by unit from the First District, rear-ended Detective Nairn’s vehicle. The stolen auto skidded 174 feet before impact.
Detective Nairn was thrown from his auto and landed against a lightpole, receiving head and torso injuries.

 

Biography:

Detective Nairn had been with the police traffic division for 19 years. He was survived by his mother.

 

Articles from the Washington Post – transcribed by Dave Richardson, MPD/Ret.
THE DEATH OF DETECTIVE ALLAN L. NAIRN ON NOVEMBER 30, 1969, AND THE LATER PRISON ESCAPE OF THE SUSPECT.
WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED DECEMBER 1, 1969, PAGE B2

D.C. Policeman Dies From Crash Injuries
Washington Police Det. Allan L. Nairn, 46, injured Saturday when his patrol car was struck by a stolen car, died at 7:30 a.m. yesterday at the Washington Hospital Center.

Nairn, who had been with the police traffic division for 19 years, suffered multiple skull fractures and back injuries in the accident at Delaware Avenue and D Street NE.

Police said he was thrown from his car and against a utility pole after his car was struck by an automobile that was being chased by another police cruiser. The other car, reported stolen in Richmond, skidded 174 feet before hitting Nairn’s patrol car and then crashed into two parked cars. The driver fled on foot.

Police later arrested David Darby, 18, at the home of his mother at 1011 7th St. NW. He was charged with bringing stolen property into the District and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Police said he is scheduled to appear today on the charges in General Sessions Court.

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PARTIAL WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED DECEMBER 2, 1969, PAGE C8

Youth, 18, Arrested In Detective’s Death

An 18-year-old Washington youth was charged with homicide yesterday in the death of a police detective whose patrol car was struck by an auto suspected of being stolen during a chase in Northeast Washington early Sunday.

The youth, David Darby, was arrested Sunday at the home of his mother at 1011 7th St. NW and charged initially with bringing stolen property into the District of Columbia and with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in the accident fatal to Det. Allan L. Nairn, 46.

Nairn died at Washington Hospital Center from multiple skull fractures and back injuries that he suffered when he was thrown from his car against a utility pole at Delaware Avenue and D Street NE after the vehicle was hit by an auto being chased by another police cruiser.

Police said that the other auto, reported stolen in Richmond, skidded 174 feet before colliding with Nairn’s car, and then crashed into two parked cars. The driver fled on foot.

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PARTIAL WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED MARCH 14, 1970, PAGE B5

Youth, 18, Enters Guilty Plea In Auto Death of Policeman

An 18-year-old Washington youth pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Court Judge Oliver C. Gasch to a manslaughter charge in the death last November of a Washington police detective who was fatally injured when a stolen car crashed into his unmarked patrol car during a high-speed chase near the Capitol.

David Darby, of 1011 7th St. NW, was charged in the death of Det. Allan L. Nairn, 46, of Berwyn Heights, who suffered multiple skull fractures and back injuries after being thrown from his car into a utility pole.

Police said Nairn’s car was crossing the intersection of Delaware Avenue and D Street NE, on Nov. 29 when it was struck by the stolen car, which was being chased by another police cruiser.

The car, stolen in Richmond, skidded 174 feet before crashing into Nairn’s car, then crashed into two parked cars, police said. The driver, apparently uninjured, ran into nearby Union Station.

Police arrested Darby the following day and charged him with bringing stolen property into the District and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. The manslaughter charge was added after the injured policeman died.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED NOVEMBER 30, 1970

In Memoriam
NAIRN, ALLAN L.
In loving memory of my son ALLAN L. NAIRN
who departed this life suddenly, November 30, 1969.
You are not forgotten Allan dear,
Nor will you ever be,
As long as my life and memory lasts,
I will always remember thee
MOTHER

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED FEBRUARY 12, 1972, PAGE B1

Four Lorton Inmates Flee, Two Caught
Four inmates crashed through a steel fence in a commandeered garbage truck yesterday at the District’s correctional complex at Lorton, Va. Two were seized minutes later where the truck ran into a dead end.

The other two escapees eluded a search by dozens of police officers, two helicopters and several police dogs and were still at large last night.

The bold dash through a locked, 10-foot-high fence at the rear of the sprawling complex so suddenly that a guard in a nearby tower was unable to fire a single shot at the fleeing inmates.

Two guards who were stationed on the ground at the gate to examine incoming and outgoing vehicles also were caught unaware by the swiftness of the breakout.

The escape occurred shortly after noon at Gate No. 4, which is immediately adjacent to the 30-foot-high brick wall of the prison’s maximum-security section. The four inmates who broke out, however, were all from the medium security area of the 70-acre complex.

Capt. Leon Keenan, associate superintendent for custody, said that the olive-drab, 1960-model garbage truck approached Gate 4 with four inmates inside and pulled into a “sally port,” which is an inspection area located between two perimeters of fencing.

The first gate closed behind the truck, and the inmates awaited an inspection and an announcement of the results of the regular 1 p.m. head count of the entire complex, Keenan said.

Garbage trucks manned by inmates and accompanied by a guard regularly leave the complex to go to a nearby dump, Keenan said, but not until the most recent head count is “cleared” and all inmates are accounted for.

Normally, a trusty is assigned to drive the garbage trucks, but none of the four men involved in yesterday’s breakout is a trusty, Keenan said. He said de did not know how the men took possession of the truck, or what happened to the trusty assigned to drive it.

While the truck was parked in the “sally port,” and the inmates were awaiting clearance to leave, the driver suddenly accelerated the vehicle and it rammed directly into the swinging gate, destroying the electrically operated lock.
Keenan said it traveled at high speed to the dump, which is located about three-quarters of a mile away and stopped at a dead end.

“The indications are that they made a wrong turn, probably thinking that they were headed for Rte. 95,” Keenan said.
Minutes later, Fairfax County police spotted two men on foot, apparently headed toward Rte. 95, and fired some warning shots. The men fell to the ground and were taken into custody, Keenan said.

The two caught men who were caught were identified as Christopher Abrams, 23, who is serving nine years for assault and entering a bank with intent to rob, and Tyson Nobels, 23, who is serving 13 to 39 years for robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon and carrying a dangerous weapon.

Both were placed in maximum security cells and their cases will be presented to the U.S. Attorney’s office for possible prosecution on escape charges.

The two inmates who got away are David Darby, 21, serving 10 years for manslaughter and parole violation, and William Brooks, 22, serving an indeterminate term for robbery and parole violation.

Darby recently was granted parole, effective Monday, but he could have been held longer because of a detainer warrant issued by police authorities in South Carolina and charging escape from a prison in that state, Keenan said.

Lorton officials said last night there are about 20 escapes a year from the complex, with most of the escapees being recaptured or turning themselves in.

In addition, a number of inmates have walked away from furlough or other leave programs—nine of 438 inmates granted Christmas holiday leaves failed to return—though such walk-aways are few and the leave programs considered successful by prison officials.

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A SEARCH TO FIND OUT IF DARBY WAS RECAPTURED PRODUCED NEGATIVE RESULTS.