Bridgeville woman dies as she attempts to render aid

August 19, 2014

A 58-year-old Bridgeville woman who was fatally struck by a car Aug. 15 was crossing Route 404 to help people involved in another crash occurring minutes before, a witness to the crash said.

“I was the second person to reach Ms. Garrison. The first was a guy checking her pulse,” said Chris Preston of Bridgeville.

Delaware State Police say Connie R. Garrison was attempting to cross the westbound lane of Route 404 at 8:28 p.m. when she was struck by a 2010 Toyota Prius operated by Sonal Patel, 42, of Seaford.

Garrison suffered multiple traumatic injuries and was transported by ambulance to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Preston said Garrison had parked at Myer's Store and was crossing the road to help out with an accident that had happened minutes earlier on the eastbound side of Route 404.

“Anyone who's willing to help a stranger in an accident is obviously a good person, and we need more people like that,” Preston said. “Losing a good person is sad, and to lose Ms. Garrison in this way is even sadder.”

Sgt. Paul Shavack said police received a call about a two-car collision along the shoulder of Route 404 minutes before they received a call about a pedestrian struck.

No one was injured in the initial car crash, he said.

Shavack said police continue to investigate the fatal crash, but it appears Garrison intended to help out with the other accident; she may have witnessed the earlier accident or she may have seen the damaged cars when she pulled over in a parking lot.

“It's a tragedy,” Shavack said. “There is no other indication why she would've crossed the roadway.”

Patel, the operator of the Toyota, and a 12-year-old male passenger were properly restrained and were not injured.

Seashore Highway was closed in both directions for about four hours while the crash was investigated and cleared. No charges have been filed.

Editor's note: This article replaces an earlier version that was based on a news release issued by Delaware State Police. The earlier version made no reference to the first accident or to Garrison's attempt to assist at the scene of the first crash.