Police identify 42-year-old man killed in fiery U.S. 13 crash

Southbound U.S. 13 (Sussex Highway) north of Boyce Road (Photo: Google maps)
Southbound U.S. 13 (Sussex Highway) north of Boyce Road (Photo: Google maps)

LAUREL, DELAWARE (7/31/2016) Delaware State Police have identified the 42-year-old man killed in a fiery crash on U.S. 13 north of Laurel.

The collision happened about 1:40 a.m. Saturday when a southbound 1998 Mercedes SUV was rear-ended by a pickup truck going at high speed in the right lane just north of Boyce Road, police said.

The impact spun the Mercedes around and down a grass embankment, overturning in thick foliage, where it became engulfed in flames.

The driver, Douglas H. Baker Jr. of Salisbury, Maryland, was trapped in the SUV. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His wife, 41-year-old Tracey D. Baker, was able to get out of the car but suffered substantial burns and multiple blunt force injuries, police said. She was flown to Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Pennsylvania, and remains there.

The 2014 Ford F-250 pickup came to a stop on the grass embankment. The driver was identified as Michael J. Gonzalez, 32, of Paramount, California.

Gonzalez and a 42-year-old man who was riding with him were treated at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford for injuries not life-threatening and released, police said.

Gonzalez was then charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, driving under the influence of alcohol, first- and second-degree vehicular assault, having no insurance, driving without a valid license and inattentive driving. He was being held at Sussex Correctional Institution near Georgetown in lieu of $40,000 cash bond.

Southbound U.S. 13 was closed about four hours as police investigated and the wreckage was cleared.