A gay male couple from D.C. was struck and killed early Saturday evening by an SUV driven by a 61-year-old man who lost consciousness behind the wheel and hit the two men while they were standing with their bicycles on a sidewalk in Dewey Beach, Del., according to Delaware State Police.
A police statement says James D. Walton, 53, and Richard G. Chittick, 58, of Washington, D.C., were standing beside their bicycles on the sidewalk along Route 1 in front of the Starboard Restaurant in Dewey Beach when a 2017 Chevrolet Suburban hit them and a utility pole, severing it along the ground.
The police statement says the SUV continued across the sidewalk and entered the restaurant’s parking lot, where it struck an unoccupied jeep and finally came to a stop.
State Police Master Cpl. Michael Austin told the Cape Gazette newspaper that Walton and Chittick were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the SUV, who was said to have suffered an “acute medical event,” was taken to a nearby hospital, Austin told the newspaper.
The driver of the SUV, whose name wasn’t released, had not been charged by police as of early Sunday. But authorities were continuing to investigate the crash and issued an appeal to the public seeking witnesses to the incident, police said.
In a Facebook posting on Sunday, Walton’s sister, Kendra Walton Adair, said her brother and Chittick were married and lived in D.C.
“My heart is broken,” she wrote in her posting. “Yesterday my brother Jimmy Walton and his husband Greg Chittick were killed in a tragic accident in Delaware. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around this,” she wrote. “Our families desperately need your prayers as we mourn the loss of two beautiful people.”
In a Facebook message Kendra Adair told the Washington Blade her brother and Chittick had a beach house in Rehoboth Beach, a popular beach town located next to Dewey Beach. She said their primary residence was in D.C.
Adair said Greg Chittick’s brother, Bruce Chittick, was making plans for a memorial service for the two men who lost their lives and information about the service and the men would be released soon.