Deadly post-fireworks accident in Dewey Beach

 (John Jankowksi/for NewsWorks)

(John Jankowksi/for NewsWorks)

A 79-year-old Rehoboth Beach man was killed and his wife critically injured after they were hit by a car following a fireworks display in Dewey Beach.

Roy Love and his wife Helen were crossing Coastal Highway, also known as State Route 1, around 9:30 Thursday night after watching the Fourth of July fireworks show in Dewey Beach.  They had made it across one side of the highway and were walking from the raised concrete median to the inland side of the highway when they stepped into the left lane and were hit.

The couple was taken to Beebe Medical Center where Roy was pronounced dead.  His wife was then airlifted to Christiana Medical Center where she was last listed in critical condition.

The car that hit them was a Lincoln Aviator driven by 25-year-old Matthew O’Connor of Washington, DC.  State Police say O’Connor was taken into custody and was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol.  He was not injured in the crash and has been released from custody.  State Police say he may face more charges once their investigation is finished.  

Following the crash, State Police Master Corporal Gary Fournier urged pedestrians to be extra cautious when crossing roads.  “If you must cross a roadway utilize appropriate crosswalks and make sure to look left, then right, then left again before proceeding.”  Fournier says says nighttime pedestrians should wear bright colored close and reflective material to make themselves visible.  “Pedestrians that are walking at night must carry a flashlight for extra safety.”

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