Crash claims lives of off-duty Dover Police officer, cadet

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DeFonte

DeFonte
Watts

ADover Police officer and a cadet lost their lives in a Jeep crash early Sunday morning.The incident occurred around 4:05 a.m., Sunday as Robert E. DaFonte, 23 of Hartly, was driving a 2016 Jeep Wrangler westbound on Hazlettville Road, east of Nault Road.Troopers said DaFonte failed to negotiate a curve and traveled off the south side of the roadway down an embankment and struck a utility pole with the driver’s side door.The Jeep continued westbound overturning and ejecting the passenger before coming to a stop on the passenger side.

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DaFonte was properly restrained and was pronounced dead at the scene.

James D. Watts, 22 of Camden-Wyoming, who was seated in the right front passenger’s seat and was not properly restrained and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dover Police Deputy Chief Marvin Mailey issued the following: “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the tragic loss of two members of the Dover Police Department family as the result of an early morning (off-duty) vehicle crash. Officer Robert DaFonte and Cadet James Watts were outstanding employees and were committed to serving the citizens of Dover. As we mourn the loss of our fellow officer and cadet, we ask the community to keep their families and the members of the Dover Police Department in your thoughts.”

The State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit is continuing their investigation into this incident.Hazlettville Road between Apple Grove School Road and Nault Road was closed for approximately three hours while the crash was investigated and cleared.

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