Del. National Guard Corporal Among 2 Killed in 'Tragic' Crash While Delivering Thanksgiving Meals
A member of the Delaware National Guard was trying to help others when she died in a car crash on Thanksgiving Eve.
Corporal Erin Sasse Sheets, of the Delaware Army National Guard's 153rd Military Police Company, died Wednesday after she was struck by a vehicle, the Delaware National Guard confirmed in a Facebook post. She was 25.
Sheets "pulled off the road to assist a disabled vehicle" while delivering Thanksgiving meals to Delawareans in need, according to the post.
"The Delaware National Guard lost a true Citizen Soldier all too soon," Maj. Gen. Michael Berry, Delaware National Guard's Adjutant General, said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to her friends and family during this difficult time, as we all are reeling from this tragic news."
The Delaware State Police confirmed in a press release that the multi-vehicle crash unfolded north of the Churchman's Road overpass near Christiana around 10:40 p.m.
A 22-year-old Maryland man driving a Honda Civic lost control of his car and struck a concrete barrier after another vehicle merged in front of him, according to officials. The Honda Civic then became disabled in the left lane of the northbound I-95.
Afterward, authorities said a 29-year-old man, who was traveling in front of the Honda Civic and witnessed the crash, pulled over on the shoulder of the road and exited his vehicle to check on the 22-year-old driver.
Then a motorist driving a Kia Stinger quickly approached the scene and ended up striking the 29-year-old man after veering into the shoulder, in an attempt to avoid crashing into the Honda Civic, officials said.
The man eventually landed in the southbound lane of the I-95, where he was struck again by a Chevrolet Camaro, according to the press release.
The Kia Stinger continued "traveling out of control until it struck the rear of a 2018 Ford Focus operated by a 25-year-old female of Delmar," who was later identified by State Police as Sheets.
Authorities confirmed Sheets had slowed down in the left lane to help the motorist and said the impact of the collision caused her vehicle to strike a concrete barrier.
She was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to the press release. The 29-year-old man was also pronounced dead at the scene and was later identified by officials as 29-year-old Lorenzo Deer of North East, Maryland.
State Police said the driver and passenger of the Honda Civic and the driver of the Chevrolet Camaro were not injured, but the driver and passenger of the Kia Stinger were both transported to a nearby hospital for minor injuries.
In the wake of the tragedy, loved ones of both Sheets and Deer paid tribute on social media and expressed their heartbreak for the parents.
The 153rd Military Police Company, members of which call themselves the "Wolf Clan," released a statement on Facebook about Sheets, calling her "an amazing soldier."
"[Erin] was getting ready to promote to E-5. Additionally, she was also a Champion Jiu Jitsu fighter on our Combatives team. Erin left the world better than she found it, and she will be dearly missed by all who knew her," they wrote beside a photo of her with her husband Randy. "Our WOLF CLAN family was better for having her, and her loss is felt by all Soldiers of WOLF CLAN."
In a post on his Facebook, Sheets' husband Randy shared some videos of her and wrote, "My wife and I had so many amazing times… The last month was so incredibly amazing."
He added in a separate post on Sheets' Facebook: "I loved my wife so much. I loved her with all my heart. If I was told in the moment I met her, that I would only get three years with her, I would take it and do it all over again and again. I'd do anything to see her. I am so happy so many people loved her."
A GoFundMe page was also set up for Sheets' husband and their three children to assist with funeral and future expenses. It has raised over $27,000 so far.
The community also mourned Deer, who was a beloved father of four, according to a GoFundMe page set up for his family.
"He was a great person to be around and always quick to crack a joke/smile," AJ Sindoni wrote on the GoFundMe.
"Lorenzo was so vibrant and had such an infectious smile," one of Deer's friends said in a Facebook post.
"I appreciate you for always being there for me and having my back. Watching you do everything you can for your kids has shown me what type of person you are. You are a young king and a great friend to me Love you bro RIP," added another friend.
Those interested in donating to Sheets' GoFundMe can do so here, and those wishing to contribute to Deer's GoFundMe can so do here.
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