New Castle County Police release details surrounding pursuit that led to the crash near Christiana Mall.
Yesterday afternoon, January 19, 2019, a patrol officer from the New Castle County Division of Police located a stolen pickup truck being operated in the vicinity of Route 40 and the Route 1. The patrol officer followed the vehicle onto Route 1 North Bound and activated his emergency lights near the 273 exit. After the emergency lights were activated, the stolen pickup truck began driving erratically. The patrol officer determined the pursuit to be too dangerous to continue and the decision was made to end the pursuit. The patrol officer lost sight of the stolen vehicle as it exited onto route 273.
A short time later the patrol officers were notified by a passerby that an accident had occurred near Fashion Center Boulevard and Center Boulevard (Christiana Mall) involving the same pick-up truck. When patrol officers arrived on this scene they learned that witnesses observed the pick-up truck attempt to make the turn towards Center Boulevard from Christiana Road but crossed over the median and struck a Nissan which pushed the Nissan into a Honda, according to police.
Officers learned that the driver of the pickup truck exited the truck and attempted to flee on foot. Members of the community that observed the crash followed the driver, contacted emergency services and relayed the location of the suspect to dispatchers. Once New Castle County Police officers arrived, the driver of the pickup was located and apprehended.
The Nissan that was struck by the fleeing truck was occupied by two adults and one child. They all sustained minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
The adult driver of the Honda driver sustained minor injuries and refused medical services.
The driver of the stolen pickup, identified as 18-year-old Thomas Brittingham of Newark, sustained minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Investigators from the Traffic Services Unit determined that the pick-up truck first struck a road sign before slamming into the Nissan. Officials said that speed was a factor in this accident.
Brittingham was charged with one count of felony Reckless Endangerment in the first degree, one count of felony Receiving Stolen property, one count of Disregarding a Police Officer Signal, one count of misdemeanor Leaving the Scene of a Collision Resulting in Injury, one count of misdemeanor Leaving the Scene of a Property Collision Accident, one count of misdemeanor Driving Without a Valid License, failure to Stop at a Red Light, Driving in the Proper Lane and Direction and Failure to Signal Continuously. He was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Court 11 and released on $6,450 unsecured bail.
Newark – Rescue crews from the Christina Fire Company, New Castle CountyParamedics and an army of New Castle County Police have responded to 100 Center Blvd, near the mall, for a crash with reported entrapment and fire.
Upon arrival, crews found at least four patients that had been pulled from their vehicles. A white pickup was smoking but did not catch fire.
This is believed to be the result of a police chase involving county police.
County police reported that one of the patients was located behind the Marshals. It’s believed this is the suspect that fled the scene after the crash.