A look at major crashes this month, some involving fatalities. Tomorrow, a look at summer traffic safety.
Middletown, July 3: A state trooper had activated lights and sirens to travel through a red light at the intersection of Route 13 and Pole Bridge Road, but a Pennsylvania driver in a Jeep Compass failed to notice and struck the trooper’s vehicle. The trooper was treated for non-life-threatening injuries; the Jeep driver was uninjured.
Dover, July 4: Gerald Medkeff, a 36-year-old Smyrna man, was in the area of New Castle Avenue to buy drugs when he was approached by several disorderly people. He attempted to back out of the area and struck a 40-year-old Moneca Saunders, who became stuck under his vehicle as he continued to shift gears. Eventually, it took the fire department to free her. She was pronounced dead at the hospital and Medkeff was charged with second-degree vehicular homicide. Alcohol is believed to have been a factor on his part.
Townsend, July 6: In a devastating crash, five were killed in a three-car crash on Route 1, near Noxontown Road. Alvin Hubbard, 44, of East New Market, Maryland, was driving his Ford F-350 south when it crossed the grass median into the northbound lanes. The sole occupant of the first car he struck survived with non-life-threatening injuries. A second car, a Toyota Sienna, was carrying the six-member Trinidad family of Teaneck, New Jersey. The 61-year-old father and four daughters (ages 20, 17 and 13-year-old twins) were all pronounced dead at the scene; the 53-year-old mother was seriously injured but survived. None of the daughters were wearing a seatbelt. Hubbard and his passenger were treated and released for their injuries. The crash is under investigation and charges may be filed.
Milton, July 7: A passing motorist noticed a Volvo station wagon in a field in the area of Truitt Road on Route 1 and called police, whose investigation determined 66-year-old Robert C. Campbell was northbound when, for unknown reasons, he left the road, struck a sign post and then a tree. Campbell was not wearing his seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Rehoboth Beach, July 8: A 45-year-old Middletown man struck seven cars on the second block of westbound Rehoboth Avenue. Martin Tuohy struck a car as he backed out of his parking space, attempted to flee, lost control and struck four more cars parked along the median. He continued, hitting two more cars, running over the curb and hitting a bike rack and a telephone phone. Five people were treated for their injuries. Police suspect alcohol was a factor and are still investigating.
Seaford, July 10: A dump truck carrying a load of sand overturned on Concord Road, near Pepper Road. The operator, a 59-year-old Millsboro man, was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. He was issued a citation for careless driving.
New Castle, July 10: One man died in a four-car crash on Route 13 at Red Lion Road, when a box truck failed to stop at a red light. The driver of the box truck, Harold Holloway Jr., of Bridgeport, Connecticut, rear-ended a Dodge Neon, which was pushed through the intersection and rapidly engulfed in flames. The box truck struck a Nissan Frontier, which overturned into the median, and a Hyundai Tiburon was on the shoulder. The driver of the Dodge, 53-year-old Eugene T. Downward Jr., of Townsend, was pronounced dead at the scene. The drivers of the Nissan and Frontier were both treated and released for non-life-threatening injuries, as were Holloway and his passenger. Holloway was charged with operation of a vehicle causing death of another person and inattentive driving.
New Castle, July 14: A 33-year-old Sharon Hills, Pennsylvania, man was killed following an accident on 1-495 southbound at the I-295 ramp. James N. Williams was driving a Toyota Avalon when he failed to maintain his lane and struck a barrier, sending him spinning out into the median. The car flipped and struck a tree before coming to rest. Williams left the car and walked back onto the ramp as he made a phone call. He was killed when a vehicle struck him and left the scene. The crash remains under investigation.
Felton, July 14: A bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run on Route 13, just south of Plymouth Road, in the early morning hours. A White Toyota Highlander was traveling southbound when it struck 28-year-old William O. Boyer, of Felton, who was operating a pedi-cycle on the shoulder. Boyer was not wearing a helmet, but did have a light on his hat and reflective safety straps. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police continue to investigate.
Millsboro, July 14: While attempting to negotiate a turn, a cement truck driver lost control, crossed the center line and ended up in a ditch. The truck turned over and slid into a utility pole, breaking it in half. The cement barrel separated from the truck. The driver, 29-year-old Jeff Gustin, of Delmar, was charged with careless driving and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Laurel, July 14: A Laurel man was killed after his motorcycle struck a tree on Ralph Road, east of Waycross Road. 51-year-old Robert Martinson failed to negotiate a curve. He was not wearing a helmet and police are considering speed as a factor.
Millsboro, July 15: An Eden, Maryland man was killed in a crash at the intersection of Route 24 and Nine Foot Road. A 48-year-old Laurel woman pulled out directly in front of 66-year-old David J. Barry and the two collided. Barry was not wearing a seat belt and pronounced dead at the hospital. The other driver and her three passengers were treated and released.
Millsboro, July 15: After crashing his truck in a ditch at Route 24 and Rosedale Road, 65-year-old Earl A. Antonio, of Millsboro, was charged with felony fifth-offense DUI and jailed.
Milford, July 15: Seven people were involved in a crash on Route 1 in the area of New Wharf Road. A 16-year-old Bridgeville female pulled onto Route 1 and crossed both lanes of traffic, failing to see a Honda Pilot in the left lane. The Honda was pushed across the grass median into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a tractor trailer. The rear axle of the trailer became dislodged, but the truck driver was uninjured. The 72-year-old Newark woman operating the Honda and one of her juvenile passengers were seriously injured and required aviation transport. Her two other passengers, and the 16-year-old driver and her passenger, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The 16-year-old was charged with failure to remain stopped and failure to have insurance identification.
Wilmington, July 16: An unidentified 19-year-old Pennsylvania man was driving a Mazda MZ3 on Concord Pike in the area of Rocky Run Parkway when he drifted off the road for unknown reasons, traveling through a fence and into a tree. The vehicle caught fire. Passersby tried to remove the driver but were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Newark, July 16: On northbound Route 1, south of I-95, 37-year-old Christopher Syto struck a crash attenuator, a device intended to reduce the effect of a crash. He was ejected from his motorcycle onto the road. Syto was pronounced dead at the scene.
Millsboro, July 17: Two people were injured in a crash at the intersection of Cross Keys Road and Phillips Hill Road. A 32-year-old Salisbury, Maryland man, driving a Jeep Cherokee, failed to stop at a stop sign and was struck by a Chevrolet Silverado driven by a 41-year-old Millsboro man. Neither wore a seatbelt. The Cherokee driver suffered serious injuries, while the Silverado driver suffered minor injuries. The crash remains under investigation.
Georgetown, July 21: Thomas D. Clarke, 63, of Georgetown, was driving north on West Piney Grove Road, south of East Trap Pond Road, when, for unknown reasons, he exited the road into a grassy area before veering back onto the road and into the southbound lane. There struck a vehicle driven by a 53-year-old Georgetown woman, who was properly restrained and treated for non-life threatening injuries. Clarke was not restrained and pronounced deceased at the scene.
Georgetown, July 22: A pedestrian was struck by an unlicensed driver on Route 9. For unknown reasons, the pedestrian was walking in the westbound lane, near Tyndall Road, when he was struck by a GMC work van traveling in the same lane. The driver, 25-year-old Isai Vazquez-Cifuentes from Salisbury, Maryland, did not stop but was quickly apprehended. He was found to be driving without a license and jailed. The pedestrian, a 30-year-old Milford man, sustained critical injuries.