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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
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June 13, 2003     Cape Gazette
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June 13, 2003
 

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14 - CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, June 13 - June 19, 2003 FAIR team investigating two more fatal crashes in Cape Region By Kerry Kester The Delaware State Police Fatal Acci- dent Investigation and Reconstruction (FAIR) team is investigating two more fatal accidents. Those crashes bring the number of Sussex County fatals to seven in less than two weeks. Alcohol was a factor in two of them. Seat belt use is unknown in one case, and occupants were wearing them in two others. In three cases occupants were not wearing seat belts, and in once case the victim was operating a motorcycle and not wearing a helmet. The two most recent crashes were June 6 and June 8. The first of the two occurred at approximately 1 a.m., June 6, near Re- hoboth Beach. John P. Healy, 52, of Bear, was operating a 2000 Dodge Durango westbound on Bay Vista Road, when he failed to negotiate a curve. The Durango careened off the road and struck a tree, at Kerry Kester photo which time Healy was ejected. The air bag deployed, but Healy was not wearing a seat belt. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Preliminary findings from the FAIR team suggest alcohol and excessive speed contributed to causing the crash. Two days later at approximately 9:25 p.m., Michael B. Gray was driving a 2002 Harley Davidson motorcycle northbound on the Possum Point bridge on Sussex 331 near MiUsboro. The motorcycle struck the guardrail, and Gray and his passenger - Leanne M. Buker, 39, of Frankford - were ejected from the motorcycle and into a rocky culvert. Neither of them was wearing a helmet. Buker was taken to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and treated for multimple injuries, including a fractured arm. Gray, 46, of Laurel, died at Beebe Medical Center. The FAIR team is continuing to investi- gate those and the other recent fatal crash- es. The previous fatalities occurred in Lewes, Bethany Beach, Ellendale, Bridgeville and Georgetown. There have been more than 50 fatal crashes on Delaware roads since Jan. 1. Of the 117 fa- tal crashes that killed 127 people, in Delaware last year, 38 percent of them were alcohol-related, and only 36 percent of those killed were wearing seat belts. The FAIR team is reminding the public that drinking and driving is a dangerous combination. Additionally, said team members, the chances of surviving a colli- sion are greatly increased when people are wearing seat belts. Head.on crash leaves four injured The Delaware State Police Fatal Accident Investigatioli and Reconstruc- tion team is assisting patrol officers at Troop 7 in investigating a head-on col- lision that left four injured. According to police, John Burford was operating a 2000 Chevrolet pickup truck northbound on Warner Road - Sussex 275 - shortly after 10 a.m., June 10, when for an unknown reason he crossed the center line into oncoming traffic. Barbara Siegfried was operating a 2002 Toyota SUV southbound on the road and struck Burford's vehicle head-on. Police believe Burford suffered from some kind of medical condition that may have prompted his loss of control with the vehicle. Air bags deployed in both vehicles. Both occupants in the Toyota were wearing seat belts. Seat belt use in the truck is unknown. Burford, 70, of Millsboro, was transported to Beebe Medical Center, then Christiana Hospi- tal to be treated for multiple trauma. His wife, Rosalie Burford, 69, was transported to Bayhealth Medical Center-Milford Memorial Hospital to be treated for multiple trauma. Siegfried, of North Carolina, was treated at Beebe for fractured ribs and a scalp laceration. Her passenger, Dorothy Trexler of Allentown, Pa., was also treated at Beebe for fractured ribs. The investigation is continuing. Amy Reardon photo DUI prompts Five Points crash; two injured Delaware State Police arrested Carl Smith, 49, of Greenwood, for disregarding a red light, DUI and having no proof of insurance after Smith caused a serious crash at the Five Points intersection June 6. Ac- cording to Cpl. Jeff Oldham, Smith was westbound on Route 9, ap- proaching the Route 1 intersection, when he failed to stop for a red Hght. The 1999 Chevy pickup truck and small trailer Smith was operating travelled into the path of a 1994 Pe- terbilt tractor trailer hauling about 9,000 gallons of gasoline southbound on Route 1. Anthony Duvall, 54, of Newark, was wearing his seat belt while driving the tractor trailer. He was admitted to Beebe Medical Cen- ter with a closed head injury. Smith, who was not wearing a seat belt, was flown to Christiana Hospital to be treated for internal bleeding, contu- sions and abrasions. 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