LAUREL, Del.- The Laurel community is mourning the death of a beloved member of a local school. Delaware State Police have identified a woman who was struck and killed by a motorcycle Friday morning in front of Epworth Christian School on Sycamore Road in Laurel.
The victim was identified as 78-year-old Eleanor B. Pusey of Laurel.
Pusey was a longtime teacher's aide at Epworth Christian School, according to Tim Dukes, who is pastor of the Central Worship Center (formerly Epworth Fellowship Church), located adjacent to the school. Dukes described Pusey as a "loving, gentle woman" who will be greatly missed by her family and the school, which is affiliated with Central Worship Center.
"She was a woman, a mother, a grandmother and also a teacher here at Epworth Christian School," Dukes said. "There's going to be a huge void for a long time."
Police said the accident occurred shortly after 9 a.m., as 28-year-old Matthew A. Kondash, also of Laurel, was operating his 1982 Yamaha motorcycle eastbound on Sycamore Road toward Beaver Dam Branch Road.
Troopers said Kondash was approaching a sharp right curve, while just ahead of him was a vehicle traveling in the same direction that was in the process of negotiating the same curve. This curve was marked with a solid double yellow line indicating a no passing zone, police noted.
Investigators said Kondash closed in on the vehicle and maneuvered his motorcycle into the westbound lane, while still negotiating the curve, and began going around the vehicle. Authorities said that as the motorcycle exited the curve, Kondash switched back into the eastbound lane of travel. Police said that at this same time, Pusey was walking from Epworth Christian School, which was located on the north side of the road, to the south side of the road where the school children were participating in a field day event. Pusey was then struck by the motorcycle in the roadway and later pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Kondash, who was thrown from the motorcycle, was flown from the scene by LifeNet to Christiana Hospital for serious injuries he sustained in the crash.
Troopers said the children and other staff where well off the south side of the road at the time of the collision and were not injured.
The roadway was closed for approximately three hours as the crash was investigated and cleared.
Authorities said that following his release from the hospital, Kondash fled to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. On Saturday morning, Virginia State Police located Kondash kayaking in the Kiptopeke State Park in Cape Charles. He was taken into custody and is being held in Virginia as a fugitive from justice pending his extradition back to Delaware.
Delaware State Police said that upon Kondah's return to Delaware, he will be charged with manslaughter, driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, operating a vehicle with no insurance, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, displaying a fictitious registration plate, no motorcycle license, operating a vehicle in a no passing zone and traveling at an unreasonable speed