New Castle County Police charged a 41-year-old Clayton man with driving under the influence of alcohol and a related offense after he was allegedly seen driving in an erratic manner eastbound on Commons Boulevard before he struck the rear bumper of another vehicle, which caused him to lose control of his car and travel off the roadway and into a retention pond.
Police were able to collect evidence at the scene related to the incident, and it was determined that speed and alcohol were factors related to the crash.
On Friday evening at 5:56 p.m., New Castle County Police, Paramedics (2B), and emergency personnel from the Wilmington Manor Fire Company, Goodwill Fire Company and Minquas Fire Company responded to a crash involving two vehicles that occurred in New Castle on Commons Boulevard near the intersection of Reads Way. While en route dispatch stated that a car was submerged in the water of a retention pond and it was being reported that a person was still inside of the vehicle.
Police said when officers arrived, they learned that a passing motorist had observed vehicle lights coming from a car that was submerged in a retention pond located off the eastbound lanes of Commons Boulevard just passed the intersection of Reads Way. Moments later, he, along with the occupants of his car, and the vehicle behind his, ran to aid the subjects inside of the submerged vehicle. At that time, they observed an unknown male subject, later identified as the passenger, Joe Moorehead, outside of the pond who began yelling that there was someone still inside the vehicle as he began running along the roadway and away from the scene. One of the occupants then called 911. Moorehead was caught a short distance away from the crash site, police said.
One of the witnesses immediately entered the water and swam toward the vehicle. As he got closer to the car he observed someone inside of the vehicle and smashed out the back rear window with a hammer. The subject, later identified as Robert Blisard, was then seen exiting the vehicle through the driver's side window. As he came up from underwater, Blisard was met by several other citizens, a New Castle County Police Supervisor and a Delaware State Trooper, all of which had entered the pond to assist with the rescue. While this was happening, police also tended to the driver of the vehicle that was struck. She was later identified as Mary Rhodes, 43, of New Castle.
All three individuals involved in the crash were transported to the Christiana Hospital by ambulance personnel and were treated for minor injuries and released.
Police said the investigation revealed that Blisard, of Millington Road in Clayton, was operating a 2003 Dodge Intrepid erratically on Commons Boulevard as he was passing the intersection of Reads Way. At that time, the vehicle was allegedly weaving in and out of traffic and tailgating other motorists on the roadway before it began traveling behind a 2002 Pontiac Bonneville that was in the left lane and being driven by Rhodes. Moments later, the Intrepid approached her vehicle at a high rate of speed and struck the right rear bumper of her car, police said. The impact caused the Intrepid to travel into the right lane, and then off the roadway and down a hill before entering the pond. The Bonneville then traveled approximately a mile down the road before it came to a stop.
A computer check revealed that Blisard had a capias that was issued out of Kent County Court of Common Pleas for failing to pay a fine for driving without a license, and Moorehead also had a capias out for his arrest, police said.
When Robert Blisard was released from the hospital he was taken into custody and transported to county headquarters to answer for his charges. He was charged with DUI (second offense) and driving with a suspended license. He was arraigned on the charges and capias and was committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institute after failing to post $370 cash bail.
When Joe Moorhead, 23, of the 700 block of Clark Street in the community of Dobbinsville in New Castle, was released from the hospital and was also taken into custody and transported to county headquarters to answer for his outstanding capias. He was arraigned and the released.
The roadway on the east bound side of Commons Boulevard at the intersection of Reads Way was closed for approximately four hours. Police said the New Castle County Dive Team also responded to the scene to ensure that there were no other individuals in or around the submerged vehicle at the time of the incident. All subjects were accounted for and once the vehicle was recovered from the water that information was confirmed.