56 year old New Castle woman dies Sunday in multi-vehicle Middletown crash

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A 56 year old New Castle woman is dead after a 2004 Jeep Cherokee driven by a 79 year old New Castle man failed to stop at a red light at Port Penn Road and Route 13 near Middletown on Sunday January 26, 2020 at around 7:30 Pm. Photo | NCC Paramedics

A 56 year old New Castle woman is dead after a 2004 Jeep Cherokee driven by a 79 year old New Castle man failed to stop at a red light at Port Penn Road and Route 13 near Middletown on Sunday January 26, 2020 at around 7:30 Pm.

MIDDLETOWN (DE): Police say the 79 year old man was traveling on Rt. 13 northbound approaching the intersection with Port Penn Rd. when the traffic signal for Route 13 changed from green to red. The Toyota, which was on Port Penn Road, began to proceed through the intersection on a green signal.

According to police spokesman Michael Austin, “the driver of the Jeep failed to stop and proceeded through the intersection, with the front of his vehicle striking the driver’s side of the Toyota.”

A 56 year old New Castle woman is dead after a 2004 Jeep Cherokee driven by a 79 year old New Castle man failed to stop at a red light at Port Penn Road and Route 13 near Middletown on Sunday January 26, 2020 at around 7:30 Pm. (Photo | NCC Paramedics)

After the initial impact the Jeep then struck a 2017 Chevy Cruz, operated by a 22 year old Port Penn man, which was stopped in the Rt. 13 southbound left turn lane for Port Penn Rd. All vehicles came to rest in the intersection.

The driver of the Toyota, who was not properly restrained, was transported to the Christiana Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. Identification is pending notification of next of kin.

Austin said that the driver of the Jeep was properly restrained and transported to Christiana Hospital in serious condition. The driver of the Chevy was also properly restrained and was not injured in the crash.

Impairment is not deemed as a contributing factor on behalf of any of the drivers., Austin said.

According to New Castle County Paramedics, “Multiple rescue crews worked together to extricate a heavily trapped driver who was transported by Delaware State Police Aviation Section to Christiana Hospital in critical condition.” Paramedics were assisted by Odessa Fire CompanyPort Penn Volunteer Fire CompanyDelaware City Volunteer Fire Company, No. 1, Inc., Station 15.

Accident scene where a 56 year old New Castle woman died after a 2004 Jeep Cherokee driven by a 79 year old New Castle man failed to stop at a red light at Port Penn Road and Route 13 near Middletown on Sunday January 26, 2020 at around 7:30 Pm.

The intersection of Rt. 13 and Port Penn Rd. was closed for approximately 1 hour while the scene was investigated and cleared.

The fatal accident comes in less than 24 hours where police are investigating an earlier fatality that occurred around 1:15 Am. Sunday morning on Route 1, just north of Fieldsboro Rd. in Middletown.

In that accident, police say that 34 year old Esteban Pantoja-Gordillo of Marydel, MD, was traveling southbound on SR 1, south of Middletown, when for an undetermined reason the vehicle left the east side of the roadway and struck a guardrail in the center median. After striking the guardrail the Nissan continued on to the right shoulder of southbound SR 1 where it became disabled. That’s when police say Pantoja-Gordillo left his vehicle, wearing all dark clothing and was struck by another vehicle.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding either of the two incidents are asked to contact Cpl. J. Breen of the Troop 2 Collision Reconstruction Unit by calling 302-365-8486.

Information may also be provided by calling Delaware crime stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at http://www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com

If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of crime or have lost a loved one to a sudden death and are in need of assistance, the Delaware State Police Victim Services Unit/Delaware Victim Center is available to offer you support and resources 24 hours a day through a toll free hotline 1800 VICTIM-1. (1800 842-8461).  You may also email the unit Director at debra.reed@state.de.us.

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