DSP: Rehoboth Beach pedestrian in critical condition after parking lot crash

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - A DUI related crash remains under investigation, after authorities say a pedestrian is in critical condition following the incident, in Rehoboth Beach.

Delaware State Police say on Tuesday, around 6:00 PM, a 50-year-old Melissa Nearing, of Greenbelt, MD, was driving a Toyota Camry in the parking lot of Safeway, in the 19200 block of Coastal Highway, in Rehoboth Beach. Troopers say the driver of the Toyota was attempting to make a left turn on one of the access roads in order to exit the parking lot.

According to the report, at that time, a 72-year-old Rehoboth Beach man was walking through the parking lot attempting to cross the same access road, in the direct path of the Camry. Authorities report that for unknown reasons, the driver failed to see the pedestrian crossing the access road causing the left front of the vehicle to hit the pedestrian. 

According to law enforcement, after the impact, the pedestrian was projected forward into the middle of the road. The vehicle apparently briefly continued westbound before coming to a controlled stop in the parking lot of the Safeway, just west of the impact. Troopers report that pedestrian was wearing a red rain coat and the parking lot was dimly lit.

Authorities say the driver of the vehicle, Nearing, was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. The driver was apparently not injured and remained at the scene. According to the report, after evidence revealed that Nearing was under the influence, a DUI investigation was initiated and she was then charged with driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

The 72-year-old pedestrian was reportedly removed from the scene and taken to Beebe Medical Center. He was later apparently transferred to Christiana Hospital where he remains in critical condition.

This crash remains under investigation by the DSP Collision Reconstruction Unit. Anyone with information relating to this incident is asked to call Detective N. DeMalto at 302-703-3267.

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