U-Haul crash in­jures six

With peo­ple rid­ing in back, truck hits bridge

Newark Post - - Front Page - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

A U-Haul truck slammed into the Casho Mill Road rail­road bridge Satur­day af­ter­noon, in­jur­ing six peo­ple, in­clud­ing four who were rid­ing un­re­strained in the bed of the truck.

The crash hap­pened at 12:15 p.m. as Mary Mer­chant, 42, of Har­ris­burg, Pa., was at­tempt­ing to go un­der the bridge, head­ing from Barks­dale Road to Elk­ton Road, said Sgt. Ger­ald Bryda, a spokesman for the Ne­wark Po­lice Depart­ment.

Mer­chant failed to obey the height re­stric­tions, and the top of the truck hit the bridge, Bryda said.

He added that Mer­chant had come to Delaware to pick up fur­ni­ture.

“She had peo­ple with her to help and was fol­low­ing GPS when she hit the bridge,” he said.

The force of the crash par­tially ejected a 24-year-old woman who was in the back of the truck. Paramedics treated her for a head in­jury, and she was flown by he­li­copter to Chris­tiana Hospi­tal, where she was listed in se­ri­ous con­di­tion.

The other three peo­ple rid­ing in the back – a 14-year-old boy and two 18-year-old men – were also taken to Christina Hospi­tal, one with a pos­si­ble head in­jury, said Cpl. Abi­gail Haas, a spokes­woman for New Cas­tle County paramedics.

One of the 18-year-olds was ly­ing in the por­tion of the truck that over­hangs the cab – the por­tion that struck the bridge – Bryda said.

Mer­chant and her 65-year-old pas­sen­ger in the cab were taken to the hospi­tal for mi­nor in­juries.

Some of the pas­sen­gers have the same ad­dress as Mer­chant, but Bryda said he did not if or how they are re­lated.

The crash drew a re­sponse from fire­fight­ers and EMTs from Aetna Hose, Hook and Lad­der Co., Chris­tiana Fire Com­pany, Cranston Heights Fire Com­pany and the Univer­sity of Delaware Emer­gency Care Unit.

Jeff Sands, an as­sis­tant chief for Aetna, said one per­son was trapped in the back of the truck but was freed by passersby be­fore the fire depart­ment ar­rived.

Bryda said Mer­chant was cited for inat­ten­tive driv­ing and pas­sen­gers not wear­ing seat­belts.

NE­WARK POST PHOTO BY JOSH SHAN­NON

A tow­ing crew pre­pares to haul away the U-Haul truck that crashed into the Casho Mill Road rail­road bridge.

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