Delaware State Police are investigating a crash in which two people died on Route 13 near the Smyrna Rest Area Thursday at about 4:30 p.m.


Two motorists were killed Thursday afternoon in a head-on collision near the Smyrna rest stop.

Delaware State Police spokesman Senior Cpl. Jeff Whitmarsh said the accident occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. Feb. 25 on Route 13, near the exit from Route 1.

He identified the dead as Christopher Sturmfels, 42, of Middletown and Michael T. Kriner, 47, of Newark. A third man, identified as Mark Bednash, 53, of Newark, was seriously injured, Whitmarsh said.

According to witnesses and the police reconstruction of the crash, a 1993 Ford, driven by Bednash was reportedly being driven in an erratic manner southbound on Route 1, Whitmarsh said. The Ford reportedly struck several other vehicles, a factor still being investigated, Whitmarsh said, then left Route 1 onto Route 13 southbound at the north Smyrna exit.

Once on Route 13, the driver lost control, allowing the Ford to veer left and into the northbound lanes, where it hit a 2006 Subaru, which was being driven by Sturmfels. Kriner was a passenger in the Subaru, Whitmarsh said.

The Ford hit the Subaru head-on, causing the two vehicles to wedge together and leave the roadway, Whitmarsh said.

Sturmfels and Kriner were pronounced dead at the scene, while Bednash was flown from the scene and admitted to Christiana Hospital in critical condition.

Whitmarsh said the crash remains under investigation.