North East-area man charged in fa­tal Del. crash

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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.

BEAR, DEL.

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.

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