Victim reportedly darted into road; New Garden Police don’t expect charges
Police said they responded at 5:43 p.m. in between the 6600 and 6700 block of Limestone Road for a collision between a Pontiac sedan and a pedestrian. Upon arrival, officers located the victim, Juan Zavala of Wilmington, who was alert and able to converse in Spanish with officers and attending emergency medical personnel. Police said he was transported by ambulance to Christiana Hospital in Stanton, De., with trauma to his head and legs.
The driver, Donald Bailey, 71, of Gap, said he and a friend were southbound on Limestone Road when Zavala, who had been walking on the shoulder of the roadway, suddenly walked into Bailey’s lane of travel for no apparent reason, police said. Bailey said that he could not avoid striking Zavala, who was dressed entirely in dark clothing, police said, adding that Bailey stopped and began to render aid.
While at the scene, New Garden officers were approached by a subject who advised that he witnessed the collision as he was heading in the opposite direction, northbound on Limestone Road, police said. The witness said he observed Zavala “stagger” into the southbound lane of travel, where he was struck by Bailey’s vehicle, police said. The witness further advised that he observed no excessive speed or inattentive driving by Bailey, police said.
Police said inattention due to cellphone use or substance impairment by Bailey was investigated. Bailey doesn‘t own a cellphone and provided a breath sample, which was negative, police said. Police said they learned that Zavala had recently left Jennersville Regional Hospital against medical advice and was likely walking to a relative or friend’s residence in Hockessin, De.
Zavala, who sustained internal injuries, head trauma, bi-lateral leg fractures, and arterial bleeding, was removed from life support after consultation with family members and was pronounced dead on Sunday, Dec. 29, at 9:52 a.m., police said.
The investigation is pending review, but no charges are anticipated, police said. Witnesses who were not contacted by the police department are asked to call 610-268-2907, ext. 100, or the anonymous TIP line at 610-268-2907, ext. 222.