Police investigate fatal crash near Dewey Beach

Pedestrian struck while walking two dogs
A 55-year-old Smyrna man was killed when he was hit by a Jeep Wrangler June 8 north of Dewey Beach. BY DALTON CAHILL
June 10, 2013

A 55-year-old Smyrna man died June 8 as he crossed Route 1 north of Dewey Beach.

The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit is investigating the fatal crash.

The incident occurred around 8:50 p.m. as R. Brandon Jones, 68, of Felton, was driving a 2001 Jeep Wrangler south in the right lane on Route 1, south of Old Bay Road.

As Garabed D. Zakarian, 55, of Smyrna, stepped into the right lane of southbound Route 1, he was struck by the Jeep Wrangler and thrown onto the southbound shoulder. The Wrangler immediately pulled into the parking lot of Sea Esta IV Motel where it came to a controlled stop.

Zakarian died at the scene. The two golden retriever dogs he was walking ran off after the incident; both have since been located, uninjured.

Jones, who was properly restrained, was not injured in the crash.

The Collision Reconstruction Unit is continuing the investigation into the incident.

Because the investigation is ongoing, state police spokesman Cpl. Gary Fournier did not give an indication as to whether Zakarian or Jones were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident or if charges will be filed against Jones.

Fournier said it is unknown where Zakarian was walking to or from at the time of the incident. The collision did not occur at a crosswalk; the nearest crosswalk is at the intersections of Route 1 and Old Bay Road and Route 1 and Ann Avenue, each about two tenths of a mile away.

Fournier said there is overhead lighting in the area of the accident, but Zakarian was not wearing reflective clothing nor carrying a flashlight.

This is the second pedestrian-involved accident north of Dewey Beach since Memorial Day. In the early morning hours of May 26, a state police cruiser struck a 24-year-old Pennsylvania man on the shoulder of Route 1 near Rogers Avenue, about a quarter mile south of the June 8 incident. The victim was flown to Christiana Hospital in critical, but not life-threatening condition.

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