One Clayton juvenile is dead and two others were seriously injured when a Maryland man operating a pickup truck collided with a car full of teenagers, Delaware State Police announced Friday.
According to authorities, the Dodge Ram 2500, being operated by a 24-year-old Marydel man, was heading westbound along Wheatley's Pond Road while a Nissan Altima facing that direction was attempting to turn from Wheatley's Pond Road one Mt. Friendship Road.
The Altima was being operated by a 19-year-old Clayton man, and was occupied in the front passenger seat by an 18-year-old Smyrna man, and in the rear seats from left to right, a 17-year-old Smyrna boy, a 15-year-old Smyrna boy, and a 16-year-old Clayton boy.
"The operator of the Dodge Ram failed to properly perceive the Altima preparing to make the left turn and collided with same," police said in their release.
The Dodge Ram operator, both front passengers in the Altima, and the 17-year-old left rear passenger and 16-year-old right rear passenger were taken to Bayhealth Kent General Hospital. The initial three were all treated and released. The latter two sustained serious injuries. The 16-year-old was pronounced dead. His identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The 17-year old was transferred to Christiana Hospital.
The 15-year-old rear middle was transported directly to Christiana Hospital with serious injuries.
The Smryna School Dsitrict released a statement regarding the incident, as the teens were all current students and one a recent graduate:
"The Smyrna School District is deeply saddened over the events of Thursday, June 6, 2019, when four current students and a graduate from last year were in an automobile collision at the intersection of Wheatley’s Pond and Mt. Friendship Roads. The collective thoughts and prayers of the Smyrna School District go out to the families of those affected, and we continue to collaborate with the Smyrna Police Department to provide services to our students and staff. We have secured school-, district- and state-level resources to assist our entire Smyrna School District family during this difficult time. Counselors will be at Smyrna High School today and into the evening hours to provide care and assistance. Tomorrow, Saturday, June 8th, counselors will return to Smyrna High School, as well, between the hours of 8AM and noon. Since our primary focus is on helping our students and staff during this time of need, we respectfully request that no television cameras or reporters come to any of our school campuses. All media inquiries regarding the collision should be directed to the Delaware State Police."
Police said the crash remains under investigation.