Pedestrian dies in crash involving state trooper

REHOBOTH BEACH — The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit investigated a vehicle crash involving a Delaware state trooper that occurred early Sunday.

Police spokesman Sgt. Richard Bratz said the preliminary investigation determined the crash occurred at 12:17 a.m. as a trooper in a fully marked 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe police vehicle was traveling in the left lane northbound on Coastal Highway towards Church Street. The driver, a uniformed trooper, was responding to a call for service. The police Tahoe was traveling with its lights and siren activated.

A 40-year-old male pedestrian, identified by police by Martir Santiago of Rehoboth Beach, was attempting to traverse the northbound lanes of Coastal Highway in the area of Church Street in a westward direction near the Turnstone Builders Office complex. The pedestrian entered Coastal Highway from the east edge of the roadway, crossing the shoulder and the right lane. As the pedestrian entered the left lane he was struck by the front center of the Tahoe.

The trooper, who was uninjured in the collision, came to a controlled stop in the right lane of Coastal Highway.

Mr. Santiago was pronounced deceased at the scene by responding medics. The pedestrian did not have a light, reflective clothing or was in a marked crosswalk. Impairment on his behalf is undetermined at this time.

The trooper, properly restrained at the time, was not injured in the collision. The 31-year-old trooper has been employed by the Delaware State Police for nine years and is assigned to Troop 7 patrol in Lewes. The trooper has been placed on administrative leave per Divisional Policy.

This crash remains under investigation by the Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit.

Coastal Highway north of Church Street was closed in the area of the crash for approximately 3.5 hours as the crash was investigated and cleared.

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