Wilmington – The Delaware State Police are currently conducting a joint investigation with the Pennsylvania State Police in reference to the pursuit of a vehicle that was driving the wrong way on I-95.
At approximately 7:19 p.m., Wednesday, January 9, 2019, a 911 call was received by Delaware State Police dispatchers that a vehicle was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of I-95, in the area of Martin Luther King Blvd.in Wilmington. Responding Troopers first observed the vehicle, which was identified as a dark-colored Ford SUV, in the area of the Churchman’s Road. exit, at which time they activated their emergency equipment and attempted to stop the vehicle, said Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Michael Austin. The vehicle refused to stop and continued to travel southbound in the northbound lanes before entering into Delaware Service Plaza. The vehicle then turned around and began traveling I-95 northbound, now in the northbound lanes, still refusing to stop.
Upon encountering heavy traffic in the area of Harvey Road the vehicle traveled across the grass median and then continued northbound in the southbound lanes of I-95. As the vehicle approached the Pennsylvania state line, Pennsylvania authorities were notified. It was also at this time that the Delaware State Police helicopter obtained visual contact with the vehicle. Pennsylvania State Police units engaged the vehicle just south of Chester and assumed the lead position with Delaware Troopers assisting. The vehicle continued northbound before becoming disabled after being involved in a collision with a Pennsylvania State Police vehicle, just south of the Philadelphia International Airport. Austin said the driver exited the disabled vehicle and attempted to flee but was taken into custody by Pennsylvania Troopers after a short foot pursuit.
The driver, identified as 29-year-old Kyle R. Merena, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was transported to an area hospital for evaluation.
Warrants are currently on file charging Merena with Reckless Endangering 1st Degree and Disregarding a Police Officers Signal, along with multiple traffic-related offenses.
Just after 7:00 this evening, Delaware State Police began receiving multiple 911 calls. The callers were reporting that a vehicle was headed southbound in the northbound lanes of I-95 near Frawley Stadium.
When Troopers caught up to the driver he was passing Airport Road near the Sheraton. The driver refused to stop and continued to drive past Route 1. Delaware State Police ordered the NB lanes of I-95 closed near Newark.
Somewhere near the service center, the driver turned around an began heading northbound in the northbound lanes. Troopers followed the vehicle but the driver continued to flee and refused to stop.
Shortly after the pursuit moved into Pennsylvania, the driver crossed over into the southbound lanes and headed towards Philadelphia. As the chase passed the Philadelphia Airport, Pennsylvania officers deployed stop sticks and slowed the vehicle. Shortly after the car began to slow, Troopers reported that PA authorities had rammed the vehicle, bringing it to stop. Troopers reported that the car then caught fire. The suspect exited the vehicle and was taken into custody, according to reports from the scene.
First State Update posted the chase on our Facebook page as it happened. One of our readers was able to call her husband and warn him that the driver was headed towards him. The husband was able to move over just in time to get out of his way, according to the woman. Several other people that were almost struck by this driver have told their story on our page as well. Make sure to check them out.