Dead Man Walking
Stroll in middle of U.S. 13 at 2 am proved fatal when man was killed by DUI hit and run driver
ODESSA, DEL. – The Delaware State Police report that it’s Collision Reconstruction Unit is currently investigating a fatal motor vehicle crash in which a male pedestrian was struck and killed that occurred on Oct. 3, 2015 in Odessa. The driver who fled from the scene was later arrested for DUI when the cops caught up with him.
The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit has identified the male pedestrian who was struck and killed on US Rt. 13 south of DE 299, Odessa, as Robert Wertz, 43, of Townsend, DE
The initial investigation has determined that the crash occurred Saturday, October 3, 2015, at approximately 2:04 a.m. as, for an unknown reason; Wertz was walking in the roadway on DuPont Parkway (US. Rt. 13) approximately .7 miles south of Middletown-Odessa Road (DE Rt. 299), Odessa. Wertz was then struck by the front of a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban which was traveling on US Rt. 13 in an unknown lane, and which was being operated by Shawn Russell, 40, of Dover. As a result of the crash, the pedestrian was thrown into the roadway where he came to rest. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Shawn Russell fled in his vehicle from the scene but was apprehended a short time later by officers from the Smyrna Police Department at the intersection of US Rt. 13 and Smyrna Leipsic Road, Smyrna.
A DUI investigation then ensued at which time Shawn Russell was arrested and charged by troopers with DUI, Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash, Failure to Report an Accident, and No Proof of Motor Vehicle Insurance. Arraignment information for Russell is not available at this time.
Police say that it is unknown if alcohol use on the part of the victim was a contributing factor in the crash but an autopsy will reveal any drugs or alcohol in the system of the Wertz.
US Rt. 13 southbound south of Rt. 299 was closed for approximately 3 hours as the crash was investigated and cleared.
This crash remains under investigation by the Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit.