(Newark, DE 19702) Earlier today (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 from earlier. 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 the Nissan which pushed the Nissan into a Honda.

The patrol officers then learned that the driver of the pickup truck exited the truck after the collision 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 was occupied by two adults and one child. They all sustained minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital for treatment.

The Honda was occupied by one adult. The driver sustained minor injuries and refused medical services.

The driver of the stolen pickup was identified as 18-year-old Thomas Brittingham of Newark. Thomas Brittingham sustained minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Investigators from the New Castle County Division of Police Traffic Services Unit later determined that the the pick-up truck continued to be operated in a dangerous fashion after the pursuit was discontinued and struck a road sign and then a grey Nissan. It has been determined that speed was a factor in this accident.

Thomas 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. Thomas Brittingham was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Court 11 and released on $6,450 unsecured  bail.

The New Castle County Police would like to thank the community for their involvement and assistance.

Police are asking for anyone that might have witnessed this accident or have any information pertaining to this investigation to please contact Senior Corporal Blithe at andrew.blithe@newcastlede.gov or 302-395-2717 or by calling our non-emergency number at 302-573-2800. Tipsters may also call Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333 or IM us on Facebook at New Castle County Police Department.


Thomas Brittingham