On Wednesday, October 1 a single vehicle crash on North Old State Road claimed the life of 10-year-old Christina Stevens while also injuring other members of the family including her 6-year-old sister and her 14-year-old and 20-year-old brothers. A fifth grader at Benjamin Banneker Elementary in Milford, Christina was properly restrained in the right rear passenger’s seat of the vehicle during the accident and was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the Delaware State Police, the 14-year-old brother , a ninth grader at Milford High School, was flown to AI Dupont and is in critical but stable condition and the younger sister, a first grader at Mispillion Elementary, was treated and released with non-life-threatening injuries.
The incident occurred at approximately 3:45 pm Wednesday October 1, as Alexander R. Jackson II, 20 of Rehoboth, was operating a 2006 Chrysler Pacifica southbound on North Old State Road just south of Fleatown Road at a high rate of speed. According to police investigation, Jackson lost control of the vehicle causing it to enter the opposing travel lane, which was occupied by a northbound vehicle. He then swerved right to avoid the vehicle, causing the Pacifica to rotate clockwise off the west side of roadway where it struck a ditch and went airborne while continuing to rotate clockwise. Upon landing, the left side tires dug into the soft soil which caused it to flip violently into a densely wooded area, where the roof impacted several pine trees.
Police state that Christina Stevens, 10, was properly restrained in the right rear passenger’s seat and was pronounced dead at the scene. Alexander Jackson was properly restrained and was transported from the scene by EMS to Milford Memorial Hospital where he was admitted in stable condition. The 14-year-old, who was properly restrained in the front passenger’s seat, was airlifted by Delaware State Police Aviation to Christiana Medical Center where he is currently in stable condition. The 6-year-old female, who was belted in the left rear passenger’s seat without a booster seat, was transported to Milford Memorial Hospital by EMS and treated and released with non-life-threatening injuries. The State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit is continuing their investigation into this incident and charges are forthcoming upon the conclusion.
The three children involved in the fatal crash attended Milford Area Schools including Benjamin Banneker Elementary, Mispillion Elementary and Milford High School. Milford School District’s Director of Student Support Sylvia Henderson states that the district’s “primary concern for the next few days is our students.”
“This is very tragic and our hearts are bleeding for the Stevens family. We are providing wrap around services as best we can and have been working with victim services,” stated Henderson. “Our district counselors and support staff are providing direct services to our students and staff,” stated Henderson.
Henderson also released a statement regarding Christina Stevens, who tragically lost her life in the accident. “Christina was a beautiful child that had a generous heart. She played in the band and loved to sing. She was a sweet girl that was friends with everyone she met,” stated Henderson. “She will be dearly missed by the students and staff at Banneker Elementary and Milford School District. Her kind heart will live in our memories forever.”
Milford School District officials state that school counselors and psychologists are available for students attending all six schools in the Milford district. After hours, families can also contact several resources including the Child Priority Response Services at 1-800-969-4357 and the Mobile Crisis at 1-800-345-6785 for individuals 18 and older. Benjamin Banneker Elementary will be collecting monetary donations to assist the family with funeral costs. Individuals can send contributions to Banneker Elementary Student Activity Account, attention Dr. Kilgore to 449 North St, Milford, DE 19963.
The three younger children involved in the crash are also member of the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club. According to Boys & Girls Club Director Tod Van Eyken, the Club was able to reach out to counselors who made themselves available to the children who were struggling the most to fully understand the situation. The Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club staff is currently working to find the appropriate way to honor Christina and to raise money to support the family.
“The staff and members of the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club were devastated to hear the news that Christina had been killed and that Alex, Kristopher and Rachel were injured in this horrible accident. As a team, staff focused on getting their own emotions in check so we could be ready to help our children,” commented Van Eyken. “We spent the afternoon [Thursday] giving out lots of hugs and letting the children talk about their memories of Christina. All of the children made cards for Tara, Alex, Kristopher and Rachel. We have known this family since Alex first came to our old club when he was 8. They are all very special to us and our hearts and prayers go out to all of them.”