UPDATE: JULY 16 – Rehoboth Beach Police identified Martin Tuohy as the 45-year-old man from Middletown that drove his pick-up truck into several vehicles on Rehoboth Avenue July 7.
In a press release July 14, Rehoboth Beach Police Department spokesman Lt. Jamie Riddle said there is no mug shot photo available because no charges have been filed. He said the case is still actively under investigation.
In all his years of work with the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Co., spokesman Warren Jones said he has never seen a crash on Rehoboth Avenue like the one July 7.
“He was going pretty fast to cause that kind of damage,” he said. “It's amazing that no pedestrian got hurt considering the number of people walking around on the avenue in July.”
Five people were injured about 6 p.m. when a pickup truck plowed through several cars on Rehoboth Avenue before hitting a pole on the sidewalk and stopping.
The damage began when a Tuohy, driving a blue Dodge Ram pickup truck, tried to back out of a parking space on the north side of Rehoboth Avenue east of Second Street, said Riddle. While backing out, Riddle said, the truck collided with another vehicle that was westbound on Rehoboth Avenue. Tuohy then tried to drive away from the crash, but he lost control and collided with four cars parked along the median, Riddle said.
Although heavily damaged, Riddle said, the pickup continued across Rehoboth westbound, striking the curb along the north shoulder, a bike rack and then two vehicles that were driving at the intersection of Rehoboth Avenue and Second Street. The pickup truck struck a pole and came to rest on the sidewalk in front of the Sandcastle Motel, on the north side of Rehoboth Avenue.
Riddle said five people were taken to Beebe Healthcare for nonlife-threatening injuries, including Tuohy and a 16-year-old victim. No pedestrians were struck by any of the vehicles involved in the collision, Riddle said. Eight cars were damaged.
On July 9, Riddle said the five people, including Tuohy, had been released from the hospital. He said the Attorney General's Office is assisting in the investigation, which may take time to complete.
The Attorney General's Office would provide no information on the investigation.
“As with all pending matters, we are unable to provide any substantive response to your questions about the discrete facts of this matter, and we are not in a position to predict how long any investigation might take,” said Nicole E. Magnusson, spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office.
Magnusson said no decision regarding charges will be made until the investigation is completed.
At this time, Riddle said, the investigation is ongoing and police are not releasing names because the investigation is ongoing.
“Investigators are still interviewing witnesses; therefore, the amount of information that was released was meant to inform the public as much as possible, but also limited the scope to prevent interference with the quality of those interviews,” he said.
Riddle said alcohol is suspected to be a factor in the crash.
Rehoboth Beach Police are asking anyone who witnessed the collision or who has information about the collision to contact Detective Tyler Whitman at (302) 524-1391. Submit tips through Delaware Crime Stoppers by calling 800-847-3333, online at delaware.crimestoppersweb.com or at cityofrehoboth.com/form/government/departments/police/submit-crime-tip.