Odessa –Delaware State Police have identified the individual who died in the fatal motor vehicle crash on Friday, July 9, 2021, on SR1 near Odessa, according to Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Gary Fournier.
Fournier said the collision occurred around 3:15 p.m. Friday, July 9, 2021, as a 2015 BMW 428, being operated by a 61-year-old Camden-Wyoming woman, was traveling northbound on Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway (SR1) in the left lane approaching Exit 136 with Middletown Odessa Road (SR299).
A 2003 Nissan Sentra, being operated by Luke A. Sichau, 25 of Ocean Pines, Maryland, was traveling northbound on SR1 in the right lane next to the BMW. The Sentra began to merge into the left lane of travel and collided with the right side of the BMW causing the BMW to travel off of the west side of the roadway and into the grass median where it began to enter into a slide, said Fournier.
The BMW then struck the back face of the guardrail positioned on the east side of SR1 southbound and rolled over the top of the guardrail. The BMW then came to a stop on its roof in the grassy area between the guardrail and the southbound travel lanes of SR1. During the collision, 92-year-old Shantaben Patel, a passenger, who was unrestrained and seated in the right rear seat of the BMW, was ejected from the vehicle and came to rest partially within the southbound left thru lane.
Patel was airlifted from the scene by Delaware State Police Aviation (Trooper 4) and transported to Christiana Medical Center (CMC) where she was later pronounced deceased.
The 61-year-old female operator of the BMW and a 59-year-old male front seat passenger, also from Camden-Wyoming, were both properly restrained. They were transported by EMS to Christiana Care Middletown Emergency Department where they were treated and released with minor injuries.
Following the collision, the Nissan Sentra continued northbound on SR1 and fled the scene, according to Fournier. At approximately 5:30 p.m., Luke Sichau responded to State Police Troop 9 in Odessa and turned himself in. He was charged with Leaving Scene of a Collision Resulting in Death (Felony) and Operation of a Vehicle Causing Death of Another Person (Misdemeanor). He was arraigned at JP11 and released on $2,000.00 unsecured bond. He was uninjured in the collision, said Fournier .
SR1 northbound and southbound was limited to the right travel lane for approximately 4.5 hours while the collision was investigated and cleared.