WBOC Owner Tom Draper Seriously Injured in Crash - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: WBOC Owner Tom Draper Passes Away Following Crash

Posted: 09/07/2017 11:23:00 -04:00 Updated:
Tom Draper (Photo: WBOC) Tom Draper (Photo: WBOC)

MILFORD, Del.- Longtime WBOC owner and broadcast pioneer Tom Draper has passed away following a bicycle accident Thursday morning outside of Milford, Del. He was 76.

According to Delaware State Police, the incident occurred at around 7:30 a.m. on Slaughter Beach Road about a quarter of a mile east of Wells Road outside of Milford. It's a route Draper often takes, say some.

"You see him riding up and down the road. You see him riding to the beach from time to time," says Memorial Volunteer Fire Company Chief Terry Jester. "I've known him all my life. He's just a good old Sussex County boy."

Jester was one of the first responders on scene when the accident occurred. Police said Draper was riding his bicycle eastbound on Slaughter Beach Road in the area of Wells Road when he was hit by a 2013 Ford F-150 pickup operated by a 37-year-old Lewes man who was also traveling eastbound on Slaughter Beach Road. Police said the man stopped immediately after the collision and called 9-1-1.  Jester says the accident hit home for the Slaughter Beach fire company.

"You hurt because you know he's such a good person and he cares a lot about the community," he says. 

Draper, 76, was initially transported to Milford Memorial Hospital before being airlifted to the  R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where he underwent surgery Thursday afternoon.  He later succumbed to his injuries.

The driver of the pickup not injured in the crash, according to police. 

The DSP Collision Reconstruction Unit is continuing its investigation into this incident.  Police said drug and alcohol use do not appear to be a factor in this case. Investigators said no charges have been filed at this time. 

Slaughter Beach Road was closed for approximately three hours while the crash was investigated and cleared.

On Sept. 3, 2017, Draper celebrated 50 years in broadcasting. Click here to read the article about his five decades in the business.

A note from WBOC: Tom Draper, a cycling enthusiast, made it a point to ride his bike every morning, and Thursday was no exception when the accident occurred.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. 

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