In the Import Options, there's a choice to Convert Tables to Unformatted Tables. If you do that, does it still crash?
What about this: can you recreate the simple table by hand and save a new DOCX and place that? That is, is it something about the structure of what you need to place, or is something wrong with this one file? Because certain kinds of things in Word (e.g. some paragraph style names, or circularity in style based-upon inheritance) won't impair Word but will crash upon ID import. So, you may be able to tweak your Word file, or replace it with a functionally identical file, to get it to place successfully without crashing.
Several limitations: this is a living document that other cohorts update, so RTF is outta the question.
Why is RTF or .doc out of the question? Is the file being linked so it updates? If not, there's no reason at all that you can't resave before placing.
In addition to Joel's excellent advice, make sure there are no outstanding tracked changes, and do a save as to be sure it really is cleanly written.
Thanks for these suggestions. I was thinking about starting over and going a step at a time. Project for Monday-- will let you know how it turned out.