DELAWARE (FOX 29) - Two frat pledges from Delaware State University are in critical condition in a crash police say was related to hazing. The car crash trapped four people and FOX 29 is told one of the drivers was running errands for the fraternity during a hazing ritual after a day of no sleep.
The two-vehicle crash shut down the northbound side of Route 1 in Smyrna for four hours on Saturday.
The family of 23-year-old Marlon Jackson says the senior at Delaware State University is being kept alive by a breathing device two days after the violent collision along Route 1.
"He's physically on a ventilator. He doesn't have any response. They're telling us he's brain dead," his stepmother Courtney Jackson said.
Delaware State Police say it was late afternoon Saturday when Jackson was at the wheel of a Chevy Impala with three passengers lost control heading south on Route 1 near Smyrna.
He spun into the grassy median near the Route 6 overpass and into the path of a truck heading north. Jackson and the front seat passenger were critically injured.
His mother says he fell asleep at the wheel because the fraternity he's pledging was keeping him up. She says she begged him to get some sleep just hours before the crash.
Jackson—who served time in the Air Force—was pledging the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, according to his family. His family says not only was he being sent on trips— known as missions at all hours by frat members—but his girlfriend says he was being hazed.
"He would get hit with paddles, canes. They would give him body shots, make him eat raw onions. I had to scrub hot candle wax off his back," his girlfriend, Kyarie Burt, said.
Delaware State University refused to comment on the claims of hazing asking FOX 29 to leave campus. They added its only concern is for the health of its students. The national headquarters for Kappa Alpha Psi did not immediately return a call for comment.