National Guardswoman Dies in Delaware Crash

Friends and family are mourning a member of the Delaware National Guard who died in a truck crash Tuesday morning. 

Joann Kurcan, 29, of Smyrna, Delaware was driving a 2006 Nissan Sentra on Christiana Road in New Castle shortly before 7 a.m. As she crossed the westbound lanes of Christiana to turn onto Airport Road she drove into the path of a 2004 Sterling truck, police said. 

The front of the truck struck the right side of the Nissan. The left side of the Nissan then struck a pedestrian sign and entered into the parking lot of the Shell gas station on the 200 block of Christiana Road. The left side of the Nissan then struck a street light pole and gas station sign where it finally came to a rest. 

Kurcan, who was properly restrained at the time of the crash, was trapped inside her vehicle for an hour until she was extricated by firefighters who had responded to the scene. She was taken to the Christiana Hospital Trauma Center where she was listed in extremely critical condition due to blunt force trauma.  She was later pronounced dead at 10:19 a.m.

The truck driver was not injured in the crash. Police say neither alcohol nor drugs appeared to have played a role in the accident. 

Hess was a staff sergeant in the Delaware National Guard. She was engaged to a fellow guardsman and had a 4-year-old daughter. 

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