Court

WILMINGTON, Del. — A Cecil County woman who was under the influence of drugs with her toddler in the car when she caused a crash that killed an elderly woman in March 2018 has been sentenced to 12 years and three months in prison, according to the Delaware Department of Justice.

The defendant, Michelle Park, 35, of Earleville, was sentenced Friday in New Castle County (Del.) Superior Court, prosecutors reported.

After completing her 147-month prison term, Park must serve six additional months of either home confinement or work release, prosecutors said. After that, she must serve two years of supervised probation.

In June, as part of a plea deal, Park pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter, driving while under the influence of drugs, failure to use proper child restraint and two counts of first-degree assault, according to a DOJ spokesman.

The spokesman noted that this marks Park’s third driving while under the influence conviction.

DOJ officials did not specify the drug or drugs that impaired Park at the time of the fatal crash, which occurred at approximately 8:40 p.m. on March 16, 2018 on Bethel Church Road, east of Fairview Avenue, in Middletown — slightly more than one mile from the Maryland state line on a road that leads to south Chesapeake City.

With her 2-year-old son in the car, Park failed to negotiate a curve while driving westbound on Bethel Church Road and lost control of her 1997 Pontiac Grand Am, prosecutors said.

As a result, prosecutors added, Park’s vehicle crossed the double-yellow center line and veered into the opposing lane, where her car crashed head-on with an eastbound 2018 Ford Escape driven by a 53-year-old Florida woman.

The driver of the Ford and two female passengers, ages 73 and 78, both of Middletown, were admitted to the Christiana Hospital in Delaware with serious injuries, according to police.

Nearly a month later, 73-year-old Gladys Arcuri, who was the front seat passenger, died as a result of her injuries, police reported.

Park also was admitted to Christiana Hospital with serious injuries, police said. Her 2-year-old boy, who was sitting in the rear seat passenger seat, was admitted to A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children with serious injuries, police added.

Deputy Attorneys General Barzilai Axelrod and William Leonard served as the prosecutors at Park’s plea hearing in June and during her sentencing on Friday.

DOJ social worker Kristen Fluharty-Emory and paralegal Jaevan Owens assisted with the prosecution of Park, according to the agency spokesman. Cpl. Joseph Aube of the Delaware State Police served as the chief investigating officer in the case, the spokesman reported.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.