Fiery Head-On Collision Leaves New Castle Man In Critical, Other Driver Fled On Foot

Bear – Delaware State Police (DSP) has released details about the fiery crash that we brought you first early this morning.

Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Michael Austin said that Troopers have charged Felix R. Matias, 32, of Wilmington, with multiple criminal and traffic-related offenses, to include vehicular assault and DUI, as a result of a serious crash that occurred early Monday morning.

Just before 1:00 this morning rescue crews from the Christiana Fire Company, along with crews from the Delaware City Fire Company, New Castle County Paramedics,  Police and DSP responded to the 3800 block of Wrangle Hill Road for reports of a vehicle on fire with a driver trapped.

While en route to the crash crews received word from New Castle County Police that the driver was out of the vehicle. It’s not clear if police officers rescued the driver or if he self-extricated.

Austin said that a 2006 Mazda 6, operated by a 22-year-old New Castle man, was traveling DE 72 eastbound and a 2003 Ford Explorer being driven by Matias, was traveling DE 72 westbound. Matias failed to remain in his lane and crossed over into oncoming traffic, with his vehicle striking the front left end of the Mazda. After impact, both vehicles came to rest in the roadway.

Shortly after their arrival, firefighters reported that they were treating the driver of the Mazda 6 and working to extinguish the fire.

Within minutes crews began to receive reports that two additional patients were about a tenth of a mile west of the crash site.

Austin said that Matias attempted to flee on foot, but was taken into custody a short distance from the scene by a New Castle County Police Officer with the assistance of a civilian bystander.

The driver of the Mazda was transported to the Christiana Hospital in critical condition, according to Austin.

Matias and his 26-year-old male passenger were both transported to Christiana Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Matias was admitted to the hospital and is expected to be charged with the following upon his release:

Vehicular Assault 1st Degree (2 counts)
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
Failure to Report a Personal Injury Accident
Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident
Failure to Remain in Lane
Disregard a Traffic Control Device
Driving without a License
No Proof of Insurance
No Proof of Registration

 

Neither improper driving nor impairment are being considered as factors on behalf of the driver of the Mazda 6.

DE Rt. 72 was closed for approximately one hour as the scene was investigated and cleared.

Breaking Report

Bear – Just before 1:00 this morning rescue crews from the Christiana Fire Company, along with crews from the Delaware City Fire Company, New Castle County Paramedics and Police responded to the 3800 block of Wrangle Hill Road for reports of a vehicle on fire with a driver trapped.

While en route to the crash crews received word from New Castle County Police that the driver was out of the vehicle. It’s not clear if police officers rescued the driver or if they self-extricated.

Shortly after their arrival, crews reported that they were treating the driver of the vehicle and working to extinguish the fire.

Within minutes crews began to receive reports that two additional patients were about a tenth of a mile west of the crash site.

Officers reported that the two may have fled on foot from a second vehicle at the original crash scene, according to initial reports from the scene.

All three patients were treated at the scene and transported to area hospitals.

Police have not released any further details regarding this incident at this time.

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Staff Writer

First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.