A 22-year-old Townsend man is facing a vehicular homicide charge in connection with a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 495 that killed an Elkton, Md. man in July 2013.
Maurice W. Dawkins Jr. was taken into custody on Feb. 5 following a seven-month investigation that ultimately determined he had been criminally responsible for the crash that killed 51-year-old Allan A. Cunha, according to Delaware State Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Shavack.
The crash occurred just north of Edgemoor Road about 6:26 p.m. on July 24, as Dawkins was attempting to steer his 1998 Mazda 626 from the center lane to the right lane on southbound I-495.
The backend of Dawkins’ Mazda clipped Cunha’s 2004 Chevrolet Blazer, which was travelling in the right lane, causing both vehicles to leave the west side of the roadway and travel down an embankment, police said.
The Chevrolet overturned and struck a tree, while the Mazda came to rest at the bottom of the embankment.
Cunha was pronounced dead at the scene, while Dawkins and his passenger, 21-year-old Newark resident Tyrique Fleming, were not injured.
All three men were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, police said.
“After a thorough and comprehensive investigation and interviews, troopers were able to determine that Dawkins was traveling in an aggressive and negligent manner at a high rate of speed, switching lanes without signaling and driving close to the rear of other vehicles prior to switching lanes and striking the Chevrolet Blazer, causing the violent crash that subsequently killed Cunha,” Shavack said in a statement released Monday.
In addition to vehicular manslaughter, Dawkins also is charged with driving in violation of restrictions on an occupational license.
He later was released on a $10,100 unsecured bond.