For the last 24 hours, it's been like the "Dukes of Hazzard" in Delaware County with two wild car chases that snaked through several municipalities ending in spectacular crashes where the occupants were either rescued or escaped, according to police.
In the first chase, around 11:52 p.m. Tuesday, Collingdale police were called to Jackson and Pusey avenues by a food delivery driver who was beaten and robbed by three men when he went to deliver a cheesesteak, police said. The victim, who was "bleeding profusely" and "covered in blood," was taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center for treatment of a large gash on the side of his head, according to Collingdale Police Chief Bob Adams.
Police searching for a white Toyota Corolla with Ohio plates that fled the scene spotted the car on Calcon Hook Road near Hook Road in Darby Township. But when three marked cop cars converged on the vehicle and activated their lights, the driver smashed in to a Darby Township cruiser, ripping the bumper off before driving on to I-95 South, police said.
The driver exited the highway at Chestnut Street in Chester, where he was met by police head on, according to Adams. The fleeing vehicle narrowly missed hitting another police car before the driver took it over a sidewalk, through a fence and down an embankment.
The three occupants of the car fled when it crashed, but police were able to catch the driver, who has been identified as Charles Meriweather, 18, of Collingdale. He's been charged with attempted homicide, robbery, firearms violations and related offenses and remains at the Delaware County Prison on $1 million bail.
Adams said police are tracking leads and phone calls in hopes of apprehending the other two suspects.
Then this morning, around 6:49 a.m., police in Glenolden responding to reports of a reckless driver on Elmwood and South avenues were lead on a chase by a 56-year-old female driver from Delaware who took them through Norwood, Secane and back in to Glenolden, according to police.
During the chase, the motorist drove off the road and almost hit two police officers on foot before she smashed into two police cruisers, said Glenolden Police Chief Michael Donohue. Still undeterred, the woman drove on but her run came to a fiery end when she crashed in to a utility truck at South Avenue and MacDade Boulevard and her car burst in to flames, police said.
The woman, whose identity has not yet been released, was rescued by police officers and taken to a local hospital, where she remains under police guard and is expected to survive, according to police. The driver of the truck she hit sustained only minor injuries, police said.
So please folks, wear your seat belt out there today - and every day - in Delco.