Delaware man allegedly drives drunk, hits first responder directing traffic

delaware man drives drunk hits fire police directing traffic
Source: Delaware State Police, Unsplash

Nov. 2 2021, Published 1:28 p.m. ET

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A Delaware man allegedly drove his car drunk and proceeded to hit a first responder who was directing traffic, police said.

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Around 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 30, the Delaware State Police said the Seaford Fire Department was on the scene of a car wreck on Cannon Road in Seaford, Delaware.

At the time, an 83-year-old Seaford man was acting in a first responder role while directing traffic, police said. He was wearing a high visibility traffic vest, was holding a light-up wand and his vehicle was parked next to him with the emergency lights flashing.

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Meanwhile, 56-year-old William L. Purnell was driving a 2012 Dodge Journey when he failed to see the 83-year-old directing traffic and hit him, officials said.

Police said the victim was taken to a hospital with serious injuries.

Officials said Purnell was not hurt during the crash and detectives determined he was driving under the influence of alcohol.

Purnell was arrested and booked into the Sussex Correctional Institution, and was held on a $3,250 cash bond, police said.

He was charged with first-degree vehicular assault, DUI, driving while suspended and inattentive driving, officials said.


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