Dover Police Cadet, Patrolman Killed in Crash - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Police Cadet, Patrolman Killed in Crash

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(Patrolman Robert DaFonte & Cadet James Watts; Photo Credit: Dover  Police Department) (Patrolman Robert DaFonte & Cadet James Watts; Photo Credit: Dover Police Department)

DOVER, Del. -- Two members of the Dover Police Department were killed in a crash early Sunday, officials said.

Patrolman Robert DaFonte, 23, and Cadet James Watts, 22, were identified by state police as the two people who died in a crash in the area of Hazletville Road and Nault Road. Their affiliation with Dover police was announced by Cpl. Mark Hoffman, an agency spokesman.

"Officer Robert DaFonte and Cadet James Watts were outstanding employees and committed to serving the citizens of Dover," Deputy Chief Marvin Mailey said in a statement.

State police said the crash happened about 4:05 a.m. when a 2016 Jeep Wrangler operated by DaFonte failed to negotiate a sharp right curve while traveling westbound on Hazlettville Road. 

The vehicle went off the south side of the roadway and went down an embankment before striking a utility pole with the driver's side door, police said.

The Jeep continued westbound and overturned, ejecting Watts, who was not properly restrained, before coming to a stop on the passenger side, police said.

Dover police said the crash occurred while the officers were not on duty.

State police continue to investigate the crash. Hazlettville Road was closed for three hours between Apple Grove School Road and Nault Road while the crash was cleared.

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