6-vehicle crash caused by loose fire extinguisher

Police said crash happened on Route 24 near Delaware Eye Institute. (Photo: Google maps)
Police said crash happened on Route 24 near Delaware Eye Institute. (Photo: Google maps)

REHOBOTH BEACH, DELAWARE (1/4/2016) A chain-reaction crash involving six vehicles began when a loose fire extinguisher became lodged under the brake pedal of a truck near Rehoboth Beach, the Delaware State Police report. One person was taken to a hospital for injuries.

The crash happened about 11:30 a.m. on Route 24 (John J. Williams Highway) just west of Route 1 (Coastal Highway).

A box truck, a mail truck and four cars were involved in the crash, police said.

Police said Francis Stawicki, 40, 0f Rehoboth Beach, was driving a 2002 Ford box truck westbound on John J. Williams Highway (Route 24) just west of Coastal Highway (Route 1). A fire extinguisher affixed to the inside of the truck became unhooked and rolled underneath the brake pedal and became lodged behind it.

As Stawicki was attempting to turn into a rear access road of the Walmart store, he struck a stopped mail truck and that created a chain reaction in which four other cars in front of the mail truck were rear-ended.

Stawicki was wearing a seat belt and wasn’t hurt.

Charles H. Hayes, 41, of Lincoln, was wearing a seat belt in the mail truck and was taken by ambulance to Beebe Healthcare’s hospital in Lewes. He was treated and released.

A 62-year-old man from Millsboro, driving a 2007 Dodge Caliber in front of the mail truck, was not hurt.

A 71-year-old woman from Millsboro was driving a 1999 Nissan Altima in front of the Caliber and was uninjured.

A 73-year-old woman from Millsboro was driving a 1994 Oldsmobile 88 in front of the Altima and was uninjured.

A 58-year-old man from Slickville, Pennsylvania, was driving a 2013 Chevrolet Impala in front of the Oldsmobile 88 and was uninjured.

Traffic in the area was delayed for about an hour as police investigated and the wreckage was cleared.

Police said no charges were filed.