Man arrested in tractor-trailer crash that killed Richmond woman in Delaware

NEWARK, Del. (WAVY) — A man has been arrested following a tractor-trailer crash that killed a Virginia woman early Sunday morning in Delaware.

According to the Delaware State Police, the crash occurred just after 4 am Sunday on I-95.

A preliminary investigation revealed that a 2017 Ford Focus, driven by 58-year-old New Hampshire resident John D. White was traveling southbound on I-95 in the right thru lane at speeds below the posted speed limit.

At the same time, a 2020 Freightliner tractor-trailer operated by a 37-year-old Newark man was traveling in the right thru lane approaching the Ford from the back.

Due to the slower moving vehicle ahead, the driver of the Freightliner changed lanes and entered the center-right lane to move past the slower passenger vehicle.

After changing lanes, the Freightliner began approaching the rear of the Ford from the center-right lane. Moments later, state police say White merged into the center-right lane into the path of the Freightliner.

The truck driver was unable to avoid the rear-end collision, resulting in the front right bumper striking the rear center of the Focus. The vehicles continued traveling into the right-thru lane.

The Freightliner followed the damaged Ford as it coasted onto the exit ramp from I-95 to northbound SR-896, where it came to a controlled stop in the right shoulder.

A woman, identified as 56-year-old Richmond resident Dona T Brechin, was seated in the front seat of the Ford Focus.

Officials say the Brechin and White were not properly restrained at the time of the crash.

Brechin sustained life-threatening injuries. She was transported to a nearby hospital where she died a short time later, officials say

The 37-year-old Newark man was properly restrained and was uninjured in the collision.

After further investigation, John D. White was charged with the following crimes:

  • Operation of a Vehicle Causing Death of Another Person
  • Driving without a Valid Driver License
  • Improper Lane Change
  • Failure to Signal Lane Change

White is currently in the custody of Howard R. Young Correctional Institution on a $1,500.00 secured bond.

The ramp from southbound I-95 to northbound SR-896 was temporarily closed for approximately 4 hours following the crash.

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