Albert Della Malva had left a lecture on Cape Cod geology Saturday evening and was waiting for a bus to take him home to Orleans when he was hit by a car and killed, his brother said.
“It just shows what a part chance plays in this person’s life,” said Michael Della Malva, who lived with his 62-year-old brother in the home of their late parents in Orleans. “Had he not gone, he would not have been there at that particular moment. Had he not gone, had the lecture been longer or shorter . . . It’s the element of chance.”
Chatham police said Benjamin Shealey, 32, struck and killed Della Malva at the bus stop on Main Street in Chatham, then hit a car, injuring the two adults and two children inside. He was trying to flee from Harwich police, who had been tailing him after they received calls that he was driving erratically, Chatham police said. Harwich police arrested Shealey and charged him with failure to stop for police, but Chatham police said they expect to bring more charges.
Shealey, who has listed addresses in Providence and Cambridge, fled in a Range Rover with Rhode Island plates from Harwich east on Route 28, also Main Street, into Chatham.
After he hit Della Malva, police said, he crashed into a white Volvo leaving the parking lot of Kream N’ Kone restaurant on Main Street.
The two adults and two children in the Volvo were taken to Cape Cod Hospital, Chatham police said. The children were later transported to a hospital in Boston.
Their names were not released by police and their conditions were not available Sunday.
Shealey is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Orleans District Court, said Chatham police Lieutenant Michael Anderson.
Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said Sunday afternoon that the crash is under investigation and he did not expect to bring further charges before Shealey’s arraignment.
Albert Della Malva was raised in Jersey City, and followed his aging parents to Cape Cod in the early 1980s, his older brother said. He had worked for the Cape Cod Central Railroad, but was not employed at the time of his death.
Della Malva was well versed in geology, astronomy, and botany and could converse about them with ease, his brother said.
“Any human life is valuable, even if he knew nothing at all — he was a human being, and that alone gives him value and grace,” Michael Della Malva said.
His brother had a particular knack for meteorology, he said.
“He could look up at the clouds and — I was amazed by this — tell within three or four hours if there was going to be a big storm,” Michael Della Malva said. “I was never caught out in the rain.”
Albert Della Malva left the house Saturday morning and told his brother he was going to a lecture at a library.
“Don’t expect me back for a few hours,” he said.
The afternoon came and went, and Della Malva didn’t return home. His brother hadn’t heard of the crash, but said he grew concerned.
A little before 11:30 p.m., Michael Della Malva looked out his window to see a Chatham Police Department vehicle pulling up to his home.
“I saw a police van pull up and I knew what that meant,” he said.
Three police officials came to his house and calmly told him what happened. One said the crash had been bad, Michael Della Malva said.
“He obviously knows, that’s his work, and he said he had never seen an accident worse than this,” he said.
Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.