Teen collides with car while trying to run across US 13


CAMDEN — A reportedly autistic 17-year-old male was seriously injured when he ran into a vehicle while crossing U.S. 13 after leaving a family party on Monday night, authorities said.

According to Camden Police Chief William Bryson, an investigation determined the victim had wandered away from a gathering in the Palmer Park neighborhood at approximately 7:30 p.m. He first traveled to a nearby Wal-Mart where he entered a women’s bathroom.

While in the bathroom, according to police, the male removed his pants and emerged from a stall wearing only a diaper. Chief Bryson said the teen was shirtless as well.

A woman in a bathroom stall next to the teen did not notice anything amiss, police said.

The teen then supposedly took a package of diapers and threw them at a store greeter before leaving, Chief Bryson said.

Once in the parking lot, police said, the teen punched a woman in the shoulder blades as she was loading groceries.

The teen continued on, running into the Tidbury Crossing neighborhood behind a Lowe’s store. Police said they were unsure the path he took to get there.

In Tidbury Crossing, police said, the teen took shoes off a porch while a woman was in the vicinity and ran away when the woman’s husband emerged from the residence.

The teen was struck by a 2016 Hyundai Sonata while running into U.S. 13 northbound traffic near Lochmeath Way and Diamond Motorsports, Delaware State Police said. He collided with the driver’s side door of the vehicle that was attempting to swerve to the right to avoid contact, according to police.

At the same time, the teen’s father who had called a dispatch center was in a Camden Police patrol car with an officer searching for his son, authorities said. A radio call arrived reporting the pedestrian accident and they headed to the scene.

The entire sequence took place in about 10 to 15 minutes, Chief Bryson said.

State police said the teen was initially transported to Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital in Dover and admitted with undetermined injuries.

Camden Police later said the teen’s injuries were believed to be serious.

The teen was cited for failure to cross at other than a crosswalk.

The 61-year-old driver of the Hyundai Sonata was not injured.

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