Woman in wheelchair hit by 3 cars, killed

Pictured: Edith McFarland during an interview with Action News in 2002.

January 4, 2012 3:43:26 PM PST
A woman using a wheelchair was struck by three vehicles and killed in Wilmington, Delaware on Tuesday night. Police say all three drivers fled the scene.

The victim, 58-year-old Edith McFarland, used a wheelchair after losing her leg in another hit-and-run when she was 33 years old.

Action News interviewed McFarland in 2002 for a story when her wheelchair was stolen.

At the time, she explained she wasn't able to use crutches because they hurt her shoulders.

"They are both dislocated in the accident, so I have problems with both of them all the time, so even with a manual a chair or the crutches its very challenging. I can't do anything about it," McFarland said at the time.

McFarland eventually got a new manual chair and was a familiar sight in the Wilmington area.

Delaware State Police say it was approximately 6:35 p.m. when McFarland was attempting to cross the southbound lanes of South Market Street (US 13) near the entrance to the Fairview Inn in her wheelchair.

In the process of crossing the roadway, police say McFarland was struck by what is described as a gold truck or SUV that was traveling southbound on South Market Street.

The impact ejected McFarland from her wheelchair into the southbound lanes of South Market Street, where she was then struck by two additional vehicles, police said.

All three striking vehicles fled southbound on US 13.

"None of them stopped, they kept going southbound on US 13. Three vehicles. We find it unconscionable. One vehicle is unconscionable, three vehicles is unthinkable at that point," Delaware State Police Sgt. Paul Shavack said.

McFarland was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her son Jeremy is devastated.

"Nobody's looking to hate on here, but you just killed some lady who meant something to somebody, to leave her lying in the street like a dog ? a dog doesn't even deserve that, she was a good woman," Jeremy McFarland said.

The initial striking vehicle, the gold truck or SUV, has damage to the front end and grill of the vehicle.

Police have several witnesses and they are looking for video surveillance of the area, hoping to identify the three striking vehicles.

It was dark and McFarland was crossing far from the nearest intersection

The police say the drivers who hit her probably would not be facing charges if they had stopped.

Now, they've made things much worse for themselves.

"Depending on the investigation and the conclusion of that investigation we would just want to interview them to see what happened, [but since they didn't stop, they now face] more severe consequences, especially, a felony, leaving the scene of a fatal crash," Shavack said.

Anyone with information in reference to this incident is asked to contact police 302-834-2620 Ext. 275 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333. Information may also be provided via the internet at www.tipsubmit.com.

The Delaware State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit continues to investigate this incident.