Superintendent Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr.
Wilmington (19802) – The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit is investigating a motor vehicle crash involving four vehicles that resulted in two deaths.
The incident occurred around 11:58 a.m., Friday December, 1, 2017, as a 41-year-old male from Gibbstown, New Jersey, was operating a 2005 Peterbilt Tractor Trailer northbound on I-495 in the right lane just north of the 12th Street on- ramp. The truck experienced a left front tire blowout which caused the tire to become detached from the rim.
A 56-year-old female from the Wilmington area was operating a 2005 Ford Focus northbound on I-495 the middle lane, while at the same time, a 23-year-old New Castle area woman was operating a 2014 Nissan Altima northbound in the left lane. The Ford Focus was passing the Peterbilt truck when the tire became detached causing her to swerve to the left in an attempt to avoid being struck by the tire. As a result, the operator of the Focus failed to observe the Nissan Altima in the left lane and collided with the right side of the Altima. After the collision, the Altima veered off the left side of the roadway and came to a stop in the grass median. The Ford operator then loses control of the vehicle and veers off to the right and begins to slide sideways.
Prior to the collision occurring, a Peterbilt 10 wheel environmental waste tank truck, was disabled and parked on the right shoulder of northbound I-495 waiting for help. As the Ford Focus was sliding towards the east edge of the roadway, the driver’s side impacted with the left rear corner of the tanker before coming to a stop.
The 56-year-old female driver of the Ford Focus was properly restrained and pronounced dead at the scene.
An 81-year-old male front seat passenger of the Ford Focus was transported by EMS to Christiana Medical Center where he later died.
A 13-year-old male passenger seated in the rear of the Ford Focus was removed from the scene and transported to Christiana Medical Center where he was being treated for serious injuries.
The 23-year-old female driver of the Nissan Altima was uninjured.
The 41-year-old Peterbilt Tractor Trailer driver was uninjured.
The Collision Reconstruction Unit is continuing their investigation into this incident. I-495 was closed for approximately four hours while the crash was investigated and cleared. No charges have been filed. The names are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Presented by Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Gary Fournier
Released: 120117 2345