Trooper injured after fleeing shoplifting suspects crash into cruiser
A Delaware state trooper was injured in Newark on Sunday night after a van filled with suspects fleeing a shoplifting incident crashed into his patrol car, according to police.
Investigators said officers shortly before 7:30 p.m. received a report of a white U-Haul van speeding away from a Home Depot at 2000 Peoples Plaza.
The car was allegedly filled with merchandise stolen from the hardware store.
A trooper spotted a vehicle fitting the van’s description near the intersection of Pulaski Highway and South College Avenue.
When the officer activated his patrol car’s emergency lights, the van immediately fled, according to authorities.
Police said troopers were unable to catch up with the vehicle “due to the reckless manner in which the van was being driven” but trailed the U-Haul as it traveled north on South College Avenue and north through heavy traffic on I-95, where it then pulled over onto the left shoulder of the roadway.
A trooper who was stopped on the highway’s right shoulder began crossing the lanes of traffic in an attempt to catch up with the fleeing van.
Police said as he entered the left lane, the van veered from the road’s shoulder into the traffic lane, striking the trooper’s fully marked 2013 Chevrolet Caprice patrol car, which had its emergency lights activated.
All five of the van’s occupants immediately got out of the van and arriving troopers were able to take three of them into custody, according to authorities.
Two of the suspects fled on foot.
Police arrested one of the fleeing suspects near the crash scene but were unable to locate the fifth man.
All four suspects were taken to Christiana Hospital, where two of them were treated for minor injuries and released and two of them remained hospitalized Monday with non-life-threatening injuries.
The trooper involved in the crash was treated for minor injuries at Christiana Hospital and released.
Police said Monday the incident was still under investigation, and that more information would be released once the suspects were formally charged.