BREAKING NEWS: Four-car crash claims life of Ocean View man


Delaware State Police are investigating a four-car crash that killed a 75-year-old man from Ocean View on Thursday, Sept. 3. Police said the crash that killed James McCord occurred about 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, when McCord’s car was hit by two vehicles that had crashed into each other and was then struck by a third vehicle.

According to the DSP, Sergey Danilenko, 36, of Georgetown, was driving a 2002 Toyota Highlander, north of U.S. Route 113, north of Ellendale, behind a 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier operated by Heather Garritson, 22, of Lincoln, and both vehicles were in the left lane. They said Danilenko was attempting to pass the Cavalier on the right, but as Danilenko moved into the right lane and accelerated, he approached a box truck, which was also in the right lane. Danilenko, police said, cut back into the left lane in front of Garritson’s car and struck the front of it with the rear of his Toyota Highlander.

Police said both vehicles went out of control and crossed into the southbound lane, where they both collided with McCord’s 2007 Lincoln MKZ, which was traveling in the left southbound lane. They said that, after the impact by both vehicles, the Lincoln was pushed into the right lane, where it was struck a third time by a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier operated by Rhonda Brown, 47, of Ellendale, which was traveling in the southbound right-hand lane of U.S. 113.

As a result of the crash, McCord was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said Danilenko was flown to Christiana Hospital with internal injuries. He was initially listed in stable condition. Garritson was transported to Milford Memorial Hospital, where she was treated for minor injuries. In addition to Rhonda Brown, Patricia Brown, 70, and Gregory Pianka, 28, were also taken to Milford Memorial Hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries.

A 3 year-old girl who was also in the Cavalier operated by Brown was flown to A.I. DuPont Hospital Children in Rockland, Del., where she was treated for a skull fracture. Her condition was unknown.

Due to the damage to the Highlander, police said it was unknown if Danilenko was wearing his seatbelt, and they said it was also unknown if alcohol was involved in the crash. All other occupants and passengers were wearing their seatbelts and the 3-year-old was in a child seat, they said.

U.S. 113 was closed for approximately 2.5 hours while the crash scene was cleared.

Police said their investigation was ongoing, being led by troopers assigned to Fatal Crash Reconstruction Unit for Sussex County.