A vehicle traveling down Beaver Dam Road in Ocean View on July 8 failed to stop at a stop sign and ended up hitting an unoccupied home in Fairway Village.
According to Ocean View police, Timothy P. Whiston, 47, of Ocean View allegedly failed to stop his Ford F-350 pickup truck at the intersection of Beaver Dam Road and Central Avenue, skidded into the embankment across the street, hit the power pole’s guy wire, and then went airborne, traveling approximately 30 feet before landing back on the ground and driving into the side of a house.
“You can see skid marks that go right through the stop sign. You can actually follow the path of travel of the vehicle,” said OVPD Cpl. Rhys Bradshaw.
Police received a phone call from a passerby reporting the vacant vehicle around 4:40 a.m. on Tuesday.
“Someone found the car sitting here, and the driver was gone,” explained Bradshaw. “When we came out, the vehicle was cold, so we couldn’t determine the exact time that the accident happened.”
Bradshaw said the truck was in the process of being towed when Whiston reappeared at the scene, with visible bruising and lacerations on his face.
“He claims he wasn’t driving. He said someone else was driving, but he couldn’t tell us who. Through investigating the other owners of the vehicle and the other people who have access to the vehicle, nobody else had been driving. We found his cell phone in the car and his dog.”
Bradshaw said Whiston’s dog, which had been left in the vehicle, had a broken leg and internal injuries, which were being treated at a veterinary hospital.
He said police were unable to determine why the accident occurred, or if Whiston was intoxicated at the time of the incident.
“We don’t know. We didn’t have any intoxication indicators, and we had no reason to try and do a blood [test],” he said. “There’s a law in Delaware — it has to be within a four-hour window of someone walking away from a crash.”
Bradshaw said that Whiston’s truck had been totaled and the accident had caused approximately $10,000 worth of damage to the show home, located at 47 Eagle Drive. Although the car did not penetrate the home’s wall, it did cause damage to the exterior wall, gutters, yard and back porch, and inside the home, there were cracks.
Mitch Haskell, community sales manager for Fairway Village said that the accident showed the quality of the homes in Fairway Village, constructed by Insight Homes.
“It speaks to the quality of the house. It shows that we build concrete foundations and it’ll withstand this hit. Everyone knows we’re well-known for quality construction,” he said.
Whiston was charged with one count of criminal mischief over $5,000, a felony offense, as well as one count of cruelty to animals, one count of leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident, one count of failure to report a personal-injury accident, failure to stop at a stop sign, and failure to possess proof of insurance and registration for the car.
“There are warrants on file for him, but he’s in the hospital now,” said Bradshaw, noting that Whiston’s injuries were non-life-threatening.