October 23, 2017 at 10:58 am EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gay D.C. couple killed in Delaware SUV crash

An SUV driven by driver who had a medical emergency on Oct. 21, 2017, killed a gay couple from D.C. in Dewey Beach, Del. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

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.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • makikijoe

    That photo of Ellen kissing a man with the article caption that Ellen “shocks” the LGBT community is very misleading. And I think whoever did that …….. did it deliberately to give readers the wrong impression. If so, shame on the editor who did it.

  • Dot Muzik-Cottos

    Why does the article have to say “Gay” couple..what difference does it make if they were..?? they were a “couple” period..just makes me mad that you label them..as if that is the reason they were hit and killed..may they RIP..prayers and thoughts go to their families.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      Relax. Some papers report as “gay” couple, “gay” marriage, etc. . Its not an insult. No one said anything about a reason-thats your own quirky psychology.

      • Dot Muzik-Cottos

        It is still a “label” insult or not..and there is nothing wrong with my psychology…it is my opinion ..and I think that they could have left the “gay” out of it..

        • NORMAN DOSTAL

          Its a silly misguided opinion against a very well known Gay supportive magazine. Choose your battles :-)

          • Michael Onxoom

            Actually, there really is no purpose served by mentioning their sexuality here. Washington, DC couple would have sufficed. I think including their sexuality is just part of what has evolved into the Blade’s Stylebook.

      • Norman Cresmer Jr

        No its not they didn’t need to point out gay. A couple would have been sufficient.

    • Tiffany Fowler

      I just said the same exact thing. DC couple or just couple would be sufficient. Being gay had nothing to do with their death or anything… There’s no reason for it to be titled that way. Absurd!!!

  • NORMAN DOSTAL

    Heartbreaking

  • Cat

    Why in the world would you add the title GAY to this article. How distasteful on your part as journalist! You could have easily said, ” D.C. Couple, Couple, etc” Never should have added that term to describe these 2 men that lost their life in such a tragic accident.

    • Norman Cresmer Jr

      Right I know it is completely unnecessary.

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