DEWEY BEACH, Del. — Two D.C. men were celebrating their first wedding anniversary over the weekend when they were struck and killed on bicycles in Dewey Beach, Delaware.
The deaths of Northwest D.C. residents 53-year-old James Walton and 58-year-old Richard Chittick, who goes by the nickname of Greg, stunned those who knew them.
“It is almost impossible for those of us that knew them well and for many years to wrap our heads around the fact that they are now, suddenly, just gone,” writes Mark A Roush, a D.C. neighbor of the couple, in an email to WTOP.
Delaware State Police said each was straddling his bike on Saturday when a 61-year-old New York driver of a 2017 Chevy Suburban suffered a medical emergency and blacked out. The driver’s SUV rapidly accelerated and struck the two. One of the men was standing on the shoulder of Coastal Highway south of Saulsbury Street, while the other was on the sidewalk outside the Starboard Bar and Restaurant, police said.
Both tried to move out the path of the SUV, police said. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said the SUV simultaneously struck a utility pole.
“It just looks like this particular day they were in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Roush said.
Roush said Walton and Chittick were married on the Spanish Steps in Kalorama on Oct. 10, 2016.
Chittick was known to bike to work every day, and both men loved to travel, said Roush.
“Their overall outlook was always positive and they looked for the best in people. They were very happy together and adored each other,” Roush said.
Walton and Chittick also owned a home in Rehoboth.
No charges have been filed against the SUV driver, but police are still investigating and seeking to interview witnesses.
Anyone who saw what happened or who encountered the black SUV with Florida tags before the 5 p.m. crash is being asked to call 302-703-3267.
Coastal Highway was closed for about five hours Saturday.
The Associated Press and WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.