Hartly man sentenced in fatal Amish buggy crash


DOVER — A Hartly man received two years in prison Thursday morning involving a fatal hit and run crash with an Amish buggy in western Kent County last year.

Robert H. Eckeard, 29 years old when arrested on Sept. 6, 2017, will serve a year of Level II probation upon release. He was convicted of leaving the scene of a collision resulting in death. Other charges were not further prosecuted after the guilty plea was accepted by Superior Court Judge William L. Witham Jr.

The Delaware State Police determined Eckeard fled from the scene after his vehicle struck a horse-drawn carriage on Halltown Road (Del. 8) near the intersection of Hartly Road (Del. 44) on Aug. 31, 2017. Police said the buggy was attempting to make a left turn when struck.

Carriage operator Ervin D. Miller and his wife, both 55-year-old Hartly residents, were ejected into the roadway. Mr. Miller was taken by EMS to Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital in Dover, where he was later pronounced dead. His wife was treated and released after a few days hospitalization.

Investigation determined Eckeard was driving a 1997 Chevrolet Lumnia at the time of the crash, police said. He was later taken into custody by detectives at his home.

Robert H. Eckeard

Eckeard was convicted of leaving the scene of a collision resulting in death. Other charges were not further prosecuted after the plea.

Court records indicated Eckeard is being held at Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown.

At the time of arrest, police thanked the public for providing investigative tips through the Delaware Crime Stoppers program.

Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Dickerson prosecuted the case for the state. Attorney Anthony Capone represented Eckeard.

Level II probation requires offenders “to meet with their Probation Officer on a regular schedule to comply with contact requirements based on risks/needs assessments. Level II Probation/parole Officers serve in the traditional roles of counseling,” according to the Delaware Bureau of Community Corrections.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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