Wilmington Manor firefighter dies while assisting motorist on I-95

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A Wilmington Manor volunteer firefighter died on Sunday while assisting a motorist in the Wilmington construction zone of  Interstate 95 early Sunday morning.

The fire company that serves portions of the New Castle area reported that Cecilia Escobar-Duplan, 25, saw a vehicle that had spun out of control and attempted to assist the occupant. She was struck by another vehicle and transported to the emergency room, where she was declared dead.

Delaware State Police reported that a black 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee was traveling southbound on Interstate 95 through a construction zone and struck a crash attenuator (parked truck with shock absorbing system)  between the single southbound lane of travel the exit ramp for Delaware Avenue. 

The Jeep came to rest, completely blocking the single southbound lane of travel. 

Troopers reported Escobar-Duplan exited her vehicle and walked into the single southbound lane of travel to offer assistance. 

During that time, troopers reported that a 2016 GMC Sierra pickup truck approached with the 72-year-old driver unable to see the collision ahead due to lighting and weather conditions. The front of the GMC struck the pedestrian within the southbound lane of travel and then struck the passenger side of the Jeep Cherokee. 

No other serious injuries were reported.

Impairment due to alcohol or other substances was not believed to be a factor in the crashes.

Escobar-Duplan had joined the Wilmington Manor Volunteer Fire Company in June 2018 as a probationary member and achieved full senior member status in June 2019.

She was actively riding the ambulance as an apprentice and was registered to start the Emergency Medical Technician Course this fall to acquire her certifications.

Escobar-Duplan was employed as a Security Officer at West Chester University while finishing her Criminal Justice undergraduate degree after acquiring an Associates in Criminal Justice at Delaware Technical and Community College.

“Cecelia was a very enthusiastic and charismatic person that was continually improving her skills to grow in the Department and within her life and community,” stated  President Ronald T. Hopkins. “We are saddened by this loss and are in contact with her family to provide any support while they deal with their grief.” 

Funeral arrangements are pending. The fire company communicates with the Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association concerning any support and contact with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

(The timestamp on this post was changed, due to coordination related with the daily newsletter)

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