Police: Intellectually Disabled Ellendale Man Run Over and Kille - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Police: Intellectually Disabled Ellendale Man Run Over and Killed by Drunk Driver Looking for Him

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Luis Rivera Luis Rivera

ELLENDALE, Del.- Delaware State Police have charged a driver with DUI and related charges in connection with a crash that killed an intellectually disabled man walking in Ellendale on Tuesday evening.

Police said it happened around 6:19 p.m. as 44-year-old Luis Rivera of Ellendale was driving a box truck northbound on North Old State Road. Troopers said 46-year-old Willie Purnell was walking on that road, having left his nearby home, unsupervised.

Police said Rivera, who had left the same home to look for Purnell, did not see the intellectually disabled man, who was wearing dark colored clothing, and hit him with the front left of his truck. This sent Purnell flying into a grassy ditch on the side of the road, according to police.

Purnell was pronounced dead at Bayhealth Milford Memorial Hospital, while police said Rivera was not hurt in the crash. According to state troopers, Rivera had to go to the hospital anyway after a 29-year-old relative of Purnell's assaulted him.

After his release from the hospital, Rivera was charged with six offense driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while suspended and revoked and no proof of insurance. He was arraigned at JP3 and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $15,000 cash bond. The man who assaulted Rivera was not charged with any crime, but the investigation into that incident is ongoing.

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