North East-area man charged in fatal Del. crash
— A North Eastarea man is facing vehicular assault charges because he was driving drunk last week when he caused a chain-reaction crash that resulted in the death of a motorist, Delaware State Police reported.
The suspect, Scott Bartow, 50, is charged with seconddegree vehicular assault, driving under the influence of alcohol, careless driving and possessing no proof of motor vehicle insurance, police reported.
Those charges were filed against Bartow shortly after the April 11 crash, police said. Bartow, who was arrested at the crash scene, is free on a $3,100 unsecured bond, police added.
On Tuesday, eight days after the crash, Detrick C. Jones, 24, of New Castle, Del., died from his injuries at Christiana Hospital in Delaware, where he had been a trauma patient since the April 11 collision, according to Master Cpl. Jeffrey Hale, a DSP spokesman.
What bearing, if any, Jones’ death will have on the charges against Bartow remains to be seen, he noted.
“The decision to upgrade the charges would be made by the Attorney General’s Office, and it would be handled through the court process,” Hale said Thursday.
The fatal crash occurred about 7:45 p.m. April 11 when Bartow was driving a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado in the left lane of eastbound Delaware Route 273 (Christiana Road), approaching the Delaware Route 1 ramp in Bear, according to Hale.
As Bartow approached that intersection, he noticed a disabled vehicle in the left lane directly in front of him and “sharply applied his brakes,” which caused his pickup truck to swerve, Hale said.
Bartow then turned to the left, causing his stilleastbound Silverado to veer across the center median and enter westbound Route 273, before traveling against traffic across the two lefthand turn lanes, he added.
After his Silverado crossed into center lane, the front of Bartow’s truck struck the left side of a westbound 2000 Nissan Altima driven by Jones, according to police.
The impact of that collision pushed Jones’ car into the righthand lane of westbound Route 273, where its right rear side then struck the left rear side of a westbound 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt driven by Victoria Vickers, 20, of Smyrna, Del., police reported.
Jones, who was wearing a seatbelt at the time of crash, was treated at the scene by New Castle County paramedics, before he was transported to Christiana Hospital and admitted to the trauma unit with serious injuries, Hale said. He died eight days later from the injuries he suffered.
Vickers, who also was wearing a seatbelt, was not injured, police reported.
Her front-seat passenger, whom investigators identified only as a 22-year-old woman, suffered minor injuries, police said. She was transported to Christiana Hospital, where she was treated and the discharged, police added.
Bartow, who also was wearing a seatbelt, was not injured, according to police.
As of Thursday, the crash remained under investigation by the Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit, police reported.