WILMINGTON, Del. — An Earleville woman who was under the influence of drugs and had a 2-year-old in her car at the time of a March 2018 head-on crash that killed a 73-year-old woman in Middletown, Del., has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and other related charges, according to prosecutors.
Michelle Park, 35, entered her plea in Superior Court of Delaware to manslaughter, two counts of first-degree assault, failure to use proper child restraint and driving under the influence of drugs, which was her third recorded DUI, according to a Delaware Department of Justice press release issued Friday. She is scheduled to be sentenced by a Superior Court judge in August.
The crash occurred at approximately 8:38 p.m. March 16, 2018, on Bethel Church Road, east of Fairview Avenue in Middletown — just over a mile from the Maryland state line on a road that leads to south Chesapeake City.
Park was driving a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am westbound on Bethel Church Road, when she failed to negotiate a slight rightward curve in the road, crossed the double-yellow centerline and entered the eastbound lane, Delaware State Police reported. She then struck an eastbound 2018 Ford Escape driven by a 53-year-old Florida woman head-on, causing a violent crash that spun the vehicles.
The driver of the Ford, along with two female passengers, ages 73 and 78, both of Middletown, were admitted to the Christiana Hospital with serious injuries.
Nearly a month later, Gladys Arcuri, 73, who was the front seat passenger, died as a result of her injuries.
Park was admitted to Christiana Hospital with serious injuries and the 2-year-old boy in her vehicle, who was sitting in the rear seat passenger, was admitted to A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children with serious injuries.
Deputy attorneys general William Leonard and Barzilai Axelrod prosecuted the case with the assistance of social worker Kristen Fluharty-Emory and paralegal Jaevan Owens. Cpl. Joseph Aube of the Delaware State Police was the chief investigating officer.