Wrong way car leaves 2 dead on Blue Route in Marple Township

May 3, 2013 3:39:25 PM PDT
Police say a car travelling southbound in the northbound lanes of I-476 caused a fatal crash in Marple Township.

An Oldsmobile, driven by 50-year-old Kent Gans of Philadelphia, somehow headed south in the northbound lanes.

Before police could respond, the vehicle collided head on with a green Chevy driven by 62-year-old Paul Wallendorf of Delaware City.

Both drivers were killed instantly.

Moments later, two tractor trailers following close behind plowed into the mess before the drivers had a chance to react.

David Craddock was able to veer out of the way of the wrong way driver at the last second.

"At first I was thinking that maybe I was seeing some lights through trees from other side, and then it really quickly became apparent that they were actually coming right at me," he said.

Craddock says it was over in a flash and it appeared that Wallendorf never had a chance to get out of the way.

"The guy didn't slow down. There was no sound of breaks from either side. All of a sudden there was a finality to it all," said Craddock

A neighbor says Wallendorf left his home in Delaware city every morning at 2:30 to go to his delivery job.

He says he had no family, other than a nephew who lived across the hall from him in a small apartment house.

The two truck drivers involved in the crash were not injured but police are still investigating the cause.

"An autopsy will determine blood alcohol content, if there is one, or if there was any intoxication or any controlled substance that played a factor in this," said Cpl. Gerard McShea.

While the police investigate, Craddock is left wondering what might have been.

"I remember thinking to myself, 'I just saw the last moments of somebody's loved one who will never come home,' and it could have been me," said Craddock.

Meanwhile police are trying to retrace the route taken by Gans and his activities before the accident.