A 21-year-old Seaford man died in a fiery single-car crash that closed the northbound lanes of Route 1 in Bethany Beach for several hours early on Monday morning, after he fled from Ocean City, Md., police. Delaware State Police reported Monday that Elijah L. Foreman Jr. had failed to negotiate a curve in the road at Jefferson Bridge Road while traveling at high speed in a vehicle about 2:05 a.m. and had struck a utility pole, resulting in a fire that engulfed the car.
According to the DSP, Foreman and the vehicle he was driving had been involved in the earlier investigation of a suspicious vehicle in Ocean City. Police said Foreman fled from OCPD officers on foot and later in the vehicle. The OCPD did not pursue the vehicle, they said, but informed Delaware officers that it was possibly heading into Delaware.
Shortly thereafter, a Fenwick Island police officer who was working a radar enforcement outpost on Route 1 spotted the vehicle traveling northbound through Fenwick Island at an extremely high rate of speed. The officer said he did not attempt to stop the vehicle because it had already gained too much distance from his location, but he notified other officers in the area.
A Bethany Beach officer was southbound on Coastal Highway, patrolling near Jefferson Bridge Road, when, police said, Freeman's vehicle entered a northeasterly curve at an excessive high rate of speed and he lost control. Police said the vehicle exited the east edge of the roadway and struck a utility pole, which knocked power lines down onto the vehicle, which was then engulfed in flames.
Foreman died of injuries sustained in the crash. Any alcohol use and the status of seatbelt use by Foreman were unknown, police said. The northbound lanes of Route 1 were closed for several hours as investigators examined the crash site. The roadway has since been reopened. The crash remained under investigation on Monday.