Philadelphia

Minutes Before Deadly Mummers Crash, Delaware Police Chased the Stabbed Suspect’s Vehicle

Authorities in Delaware tried to pull over Keith Campbell's white Audi for erratic driving, but called off a pursuit to prevent a crash

What to Know

  • Keith Campbell, 29, is charged in Wednesday's triple homicide along Packer Avenue in South Philadelphia.
  • The violent crash claimed the lives of Mummers Joseph Ferry and Dennis Palandro along with Ferry's fiancée Kelly Wiseley.
  • Delaware authorities said they tried to pull over Campbell's car about 30 minutes before the South Philly crash. They called off a pursuit.

Thirty minutes before a head-on crash in South Philadelphia that killed three people and injured a fourth, authorities in Delaware attempted to stop the driver police say caused the collision.

The Newport Police Department said Friday that its officers and Delaware state troopers pursued 29-year-old Keith Campbell through New Castle County after observing his white Audi travel recklessly down two highways early Wednesday.

Police tried to pull over Campbell along Delaware Route 4 around 1:12 a.m., but he kept driving. His driving became more erratic as the luxury car traveled west and onto northbound Interstate 95, police said.

Authorities eventually called off the pursuit, in the area of the Christiana Mall, to prevent a crash.

Thirty-miles away in Philadelphia, at around 1:45 a.m., Campbell's car drifted into the opposite lane along Packer Avenue near S. 7th Street and directly into an Acura SUV, police said.

The violent crash forced the driver — 36-year-old Joseph Ferry — to be ejected from the vehicle and killed. His fiancée, Kelly Wiseley, 35, and friend Dennis Palandro, 31, also died at the scene. Palandro's 30-year-old wife suffered serious injuries and remains hospitalized.

Both Ferry and Palandro were members of the South Philadelphia String Band. The group had just taken the second place prize in the annual Mummers Parade. The couples were heading to have a meal at the Oregon Diner at the time of the crash.

Police said Campbell had 15 to 20 stab wounds in his chest and torso when the crash happened. They are investigating whether the wounds were self-inflicted. A knife and note — described by police to have rambling statements — were found in the car. Toxicology results are also pending.

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Campbell is charged with three counts of vehicular homicide, one count of aggravated assault, and related crimes. He remains hospitalized, but is expected to survive.

Newport police said they are assisting Philadelphia police in their investigation.

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