A driver from Ohio is facing numerous charges including DUI after his vehicle caught on fire in the median of Del. Route 1.
According to Delaware State Police the incident occurred on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at approximately 5:55 p.m.
Police said that Christopher T. Nagel, 21 of Grafton, Ohio, was driving a 1999 Acura CL northbound on Korean War-Veterans Memorial Highway (Del. Route 1) just south of Exit 114. For unknown reasons, the car caught fire while in motion and then entered into the center median where it stopped momentarily.
A trooper in the area heard the call for the fire and within minutes was on scene. The trooper and some bystanders witnessed the car still in motion as if Nagel was trying to drive away while still on fire, but upon looking in the window, the driver could be seen unresponsive with his foot still on the accelerator.
The trooper and a couple of the bystanders then took a shovel from the patrol vehicle and smashed the front passenger windshield in order to get Nagel out. At that time, the Nagel became alert and placed the vehicle in reverse in an attempt to drive away once again, police said.
The trooper continued to give verbal commands to Nagel to stop and exit the vehicle as he was continuing to engulf the median in flames. He eventually stopped the car and exited but became evasive as the trooper was attempting to take him into custody. Several witnesses intervened and held down the suspect until Nagel could be placed in custody.
Smyrna Fire Department responded to the scene to extinguish the fire.
Nagel was transported from the scene by troopers to Troop 9 in Odessa where he was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol; reckless endangering on the first degree; resisting arrest; criminal mischief; failure to have insurance, and driving an unsafe motor vehicle. He was arraigned at Justice of the Peace No. 7 and released on $6,025 unsecured bond.