DELAWARE STATE POLICE BEAT – Off duty Harrington Police Officer Struck and Killed Disabled Motorist
FELTON, DEL. – An unidentified Harrington Police officer struck and killed a disabled motorist who was working on the shoulder of a road to fix the box trailer that he was towing.
The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit of the Delaware State Police is currently investigating the incident that took place on Dec. 3, 2016, in the early morning hours, near Felton, Del.
The State Police spokesman, Master Corporal Jeffrey Hale, says that the initial investigation has determined that the crash occurred at approximately 1:41 a.m., Saturday, December 3, 2016.
Christopher Thompson, 32, of Coatesville, PA, was operating a 2006 Dodge 3500 pickup truck, which was pulling a 30-foot enclosed box trailer, and was traveling on eastbound SR 12 (Midstate Road) east of Chimney Hill Road, Felton.
Police say that due to a mechanical problem with the trailer, Thompson had pulled onto the right-hand shoulder of the roadway; however, a portion of the trailer remained in the eastbound lane of travel.
Thompson then placed a floor jack under the driver’s side of the enclosed box trailer’s tires, and as he was standing in the eastbound lane of the roadway, he was struck by the right front bumper of a fully marked 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe.
The police vehicle was being operated by an off-duty 47-year-old male police officer from the Harrington Police Department.
Thompson was thrown onto the hood and windshield of the Tahoe before landing in the eastbound lane of travel where he came to rest.
Police say that Christopher Thompson, who was dressed in all dark clothing at the time of the crash, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Delaware State Police did not comment on whether the lights on the pickup and trailer were lighted or reveal why the off-duty police officer failed to slow to avoid a collision, which is a traffic offense. Police report that neither alcohol nor drugs use on the part of Thompson appear to be a factor in this crash, but only a blood test would clarify the issue.
The Delaware State Police did not reveal if a blood test of the off-duty police officer was performed, as is standard procedure in cases of a fatality in a highway crash.
The Delaware State Police refer to the unidentified Harrington Police officer as the “male operator of the Tahoe,” who was properly restrained at the time of the crash, was not injured. Police report that alcohol and drug use on the part of the off-duty police officer are not being considered as a factor in the crash. The Delaware State Police did not reveal if a blood test of the off-duty police officer was performed, as is standard procedure in cases of a fatality in a highway crash. Excessive speed is also not being considered as a factor, say police.
Corporal Hale said the name of the Harrington Police officer is being withheld but will be released at a later date.
A female passenger, who was seated in the rear passenger seat of the Dodge, was not injured in the crash.
Midstate Road was closed for approximately five hours as the crash was investigated and cleared.