Ne­wark Po­lice car strikes, kills man

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

A pedes­trian died last week af­ter be­ing struck by a Ne­wark Po­lice car in front of the Rob­scott neigh­bor­hood.

The crash hap­pened at 9:38 p.m. March 2 on East Ch­est­nut Hill Road, near the in­ter­sec­tion with Ar­gyle Road.

The po­lice car was head­ing east in the left lane when 40-year-old Robert Ge­orge, of Ne­wark, “en­tered into its path of travel,” said Mas­ter Cpl. Melissa Jaffe, a spokes­woman for Delaware State Po­lice.

The po­lice car hit Ge­orge, caus­ing him to strike the hood and wind­shield of the car and then fall onto the road­way. He died at the scene.

“The pedes­trian was wear­ing dark­col­ored cloth­ing and was not uti­liz­ing a

marked cross­walk, was not car­ry­ing an il­lu­mi­nated de­vice, and was not wear­ing any re­flec­tive ma­te­rial,” Jaffe said.

The of­fi­cer was not hurt. He was re­spond­ing to a non-emer­gency call and thus did not have his emer­gency

lights and siren on. Speed was not a fac­tor in the crash, Jaffe said.

Sgt. Ger­ald Bryda, a spokesman for the Ne­wark Po­lice Depart­ment, would not pro­vide the of­fi­cer’s name or say if he was placed on leave dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“Due to the fact that this is an ac­tive state po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion, we are not mak­ing any ad­di­tional com­ments

pend­ing the con­clu­sion of their in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Bryda wrote in an email.

The crash hap­pened dur­ing a pow­er­ful Nor’easter that brought strong winds, rain and some snow to the area and prompted of­fi­cials statewide to warn of haz­ardous driv­ing con­di­tions.

“Please be care­ful driv­ing as con­di­tions are get­ting worse,” the Ne­wark Po­lice Depart­ment wrote

on Face­book a few hours be­fore the crash. The light­hearted so­cial me­dia post also in­cluded a Dr. Seuss poem and a meme from the “I Can Has Cheezburger” web­site.

The crash marks the sec­ond time in five months a Ne­wark Po­lice car has struck a pedes­trian. In Novem­ber, an of­fi­cer driv­ing an un­marked car hit a 2-year-old girl be­ing

pushed on a tri­cy­cle in front of the po­lice sta­tion on South Main Street. The child es­caped with only mi­nor in­juries.

Af­ter that in­ci­dent, an NPD spokesman said that un­der depart­ment pol­icy, of­fi­cers in­volved in crashes typ­i­cally re­turn to nor­mal duty. An of­fi­cer would be put on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave only if crim­i­nal ac­tions are sus­pected.

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