Two Maryland men were killed while crossing Route 54 near Fenwick Island late on Friday, June 14, when they stepped out in front of a vehicle driven by another Maryland man.
According to police, Grant D. Kinkade Sr., 45, of Westminster, Md., and Robert J. Rust Jr., 64, of Lutherville, Md., were crossing Route 54 (Lighthouse Road), east of Dukes Road, just outside Fenwick Island town limits about 11 p.m. last Friday. They said the men were crossing from the north side of the road to the south side, near High Stakes Bar & Grill, when they stepped out in front of a Jeep Wrangler being driven eastbound by a 57-year-old Reisterstown, Md., man.
Kinkade was pronounced dead at the scene, while Rust was airlifted by Delaware State Police helicopter to Christiana Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The driver and the two passengers in his vehicle were uninjured, police said, noting that the driver had come to a stop immediately after the incident.
Delaware State Police Public Information Officer Cpl. John Day said mid-week that it had not yet been determined whether the two pedestrians killed had consumed alcohol beforehand, but he noted it was a possibility.
Day also said that, as of mid-week, no charges had been filed against the driver.
“At this point, we haven’t determined if that’s appropriate or not,” he said.
The June 14 incident was not the first fatal pedestrian collision this year in the area, with multiple incidents having taken place recently in Dewey Beach — including one involving a Delaware State Police trooper — and in Ocean City, Md.
At least two of the cases involved pedestrians who had allegedly stepped out in front of oncoming traffic, while the incident involving the trooper happened when the pedestrian was allegedly straddling the shoulder of the road and the travel lane.
Day said pedestrians should always be on the lookout for vehicles when near a street.
“For pedestrians, always cross at a crosswalk if available,” he advised. “It sounds childish, but look both ways before crossing the street. If you’re in an unlit area, carry a light or reflective device.”
In fact, pedestrians walking along Delaware roadways at night are required by state law to carry a flashlight or reflective device.
Day added that drivers should also be aware and prepare for pedestrians to not follow traffic rules.
“Drivers should try to be aware — especially in an area like a beach town, where there’s a lot of pedestrian traffic. You always have to be on the lookout for pedestrians and keep in mind that pedestrians don’t always follow the rules for pedestrians. They can come out of anywhere. You just want to be careful.”