Dover Officers Robert DaFonte and James Watts Killed In Overnight Crash

Dover, DE – The city of Dover is mourning the overnight loss of two members of their police department after a crash off-duty.

Officer Robert DaFonte and Cadet James Watts Killed

Officer Robert DaFonte, a 2-year veteran of the Dover Police Department and Cadet James Watts, a 6-month recruit of the Special Enforcement Cadet Unit were travelling together around 4 AM when the crash occurred.

According to ABC6 DaFonte was driving a 2016 Jeep Wrangler when he came up to a sharp curve on Hazletville and Nault Road. He reportedly lost control of the vehicle and traveled down an embankment, where the drivers side door struck a utility pole. The car continued westbound, where it overturned and rested on its passenger’s side. DaFonte was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident, Watts unfortunately was not and was ejected from the vehicle. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

DaFonte, 23, was a Hartly native and Watts, 22, was from Camden-Wyoming. The tragic accident of two young officers just beginning their career has left the department with a mountain of grief.

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the tragic loss of two members of the Dover Police Department family,” said Dover police Deputy Chief Marvin Mailey. “Officer Robert DaFonte and Cadet James Watts were outstanding employees and were committed to serving the citizens of Dover. As we mourn the loss of our fellow officer and cadet, we ask the community to keep their families and the members of the Dover Police Department in your thoughts.”

Delaware State Police and the Collision Reconstruction Unit had the area closed for hours this morning on Hazlettville Road, between Apple Grove School Road and Nault Road, while they worked to investigate the scene of the accident.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dover Police Department and the families of Robert DaFonte and James Watts both blood and blue. Although not long in years, there is no shortage of heroism to those looking on upon your life. Rest easy brothers. We’ve got the watch from here.

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