@VALUEZTV AM EDITION
A Dover couple were killed late Monday near Delaware City after their Chevrolet Suburban crashed into a steel utility pole and caught on fire.
The couple, Steven and Kari-Ann Jones, had been briefly chased by New Castle County Police prior to the crash in the area of River and Wrangle Hill roads. The deadly incident even got a rare comment from the police agency's chief.
"This was a tragic event for all involved," New Castle County Police Colonel Vaughn M. Bond Jr. said, "and my prayers are extended to the family of the victim as well as our officer."
The incident began about 11:15 p.m., when an officer saw a woman hanging out the Suburban's passenger window. The woman, 40-year-old Kari-Ann Jones, was "frantically waving her arms to gain his attention," police said in a statement.
"Concerned for the welfare and safety of the female passenger the officer activated his emergency equipment and attempted to stop the vehicle," said Master Cpl. Michel Eckerd, a police spokesman.
The Suburban driver, 46-year-old Steven Jones, sped up and began driving erratically along southbound River Road.
The officer turned off his police vehicle's lights and sirens and reduced his speed out of concern for the SUV's occupants and the community, Eckerd said. The officers, however, continued to keep the SUV in his view as it pulled away.
That is when the officer saw the SUV leave the roadway and strike a large steel utility pole.
"When officers arrived at the scene of the collision the truck was fully engulfed in flames," Eckerd said. Officers repeatedly tried to pull the occupants from the SUV, but were driven back by the intense heat and flames.
Delaware City Volunteer and Port Penn volunteer fire companies responded to the crash and extinguished the fire.
The crash remains under investigation.