Police identify victims in fiery crash on Old Baltimore Pike near Iron Hill that claimed three lives

A 2003 Chevrolet Suburban was traveling westbound on Old Baltimore Pike approaching Robert L. Melson Lane when his vehicle was struck head-on by a 2015 Hyundai Sonata police say.

NEWARK (DE): Delaware State Police have identified the names of the of the three individuals who died in a crash on September 19, 2020, on westbound Old Baltimore Pike near Robert L. Melson Lane, Newark, as 35 year-old Francisco Rodriguez. of Newark, DE, 25 year-old James Ogachi of Cary, NC, and 26 year-old Kelvin Mwangi of New Castle, DE.

The three died as a result of an early morning head-on crash Saturday morning. One other was seriously injured.

The crash brings the tally to five who have died in car crashes in New Castle County in a five hour period.

Delaware State Police say it was around 2:00 a.m. when first responders began arriving at the crash scene on Old Baltimore Pike just prior to Robert L. Melson Lane in Newark.

According to New Castle County Paramedic spokesman, Ruoy L. Koontz, “A total of four patients were found, with three requiring advanced life support care.”

A Delaware State Police medevac also known as Trooper 4 was dispatched to the scene, however it is unknown if it was utilized in transporting any patients.

“When the first units arrived on scene, they found one of the vehicles on fire,” Koontz said. Unfortunately, that patient did not make it out of his vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Delaware State Police spokesman Jason Hatchell later confirmed that the occupant was a 35 year-old male from Newark.

According to Koontz, Christiana Fire Company transported two of the patients and Aetna Hose Hoook & Ladder Fire Company transported the third patient with medics on board to the Trauma Center at Christiana Hospital.

Three young lives were lost and State Police say the horrific accident began as a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban was traveling westbound on Old Baltimore Pike approaching Robert L. Melson Lane when his vehicle was struck head-on by a 2015 Hyundai Sonata.

Hatchell said the Sonata, which was occupied by three people, was traveling eastbound on Old Baltimore Pike when it crossed the center line onto the westbound side of Old Baltimore Pike when it struck the suburban head-on.

Police say all occupants of the vehicles were properly restrained.

The operator of the Sonata was a 25-year-old man from North Carolina and his front seat passenger was a 26-year-old man from New Castle. They were both transported to the Trauma Center at Christiana Hospital by Christian Fire Company Ambulances after being treated by New Castle County Paramedics. They were later pronounced deceased.

Police say there was a third occupant of the Sonata, a 26 year-old male from Linwood, Pennsylvania who was seated in the second row. After being treated by New Castle County Paramedics, he was transported by an Aetna Hose Hook & Ladder Fire Company Ambulance to the Trauma Center at Christiana Hospital for serious injuries.

Police said the Westbound of Old Baltimore Pike was closed for approximately 3.5 hours while the crash was investigated and cleared.

Police did not say if alcohol or fatigue played a role in the crash.

It’s been a horrific night for car crashes. Earlier Friday night around 9:00 p.m. two people were killed in a head-on Kirkwood Highway crash. That crash involved a vehicle crossing the center median and striking another vehicle head on.


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The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information regarding the crash should contact Det. Forester of the Troop 2 Collision Reconstruction Unit by calling 302-365-8485.

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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

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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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