OCEAN CITY – A Seaford man killed early Monday morning in a fiery crash along Route 1 in Bethany Beach had been detained briefly by Ocean City police just minutes before fleeing north in his vehicle.
Elijah J. Foreman, 21, of Seaford, died in a crash early Monday morning when he failed to negotiate a turn at a high rate of speed and left the roadway, striking a utility pole and causing power lines to fall on his vehicle, a Plymouth Voyager, which then burst into flames. Just minutes earlier, Foreman had fled from Ocean City police at a north-end convenience store before beginning his high-speed fateful journey into Delaware.
Around 2 a.m. on Monday, Ocean City police received a call regarding suspicious activity in the area of Caine Stable Rd. in the Caine Woods community. The caller, a concerned citizen, told a mini-van had circled the neighborhood several times before one if its occupants got out and acted suspiciously including looking in the windows of parked cars.
OCPD officers responded to the area and located the suspicious vehicle, a Plymouth Voyager mini-van, and followed its occupants into the 7-Eleven store on 139th Street. After a brief discussion with the suspects, resort police determined the driver, later identified as Foreman, was driving on a suspended and revoked license. When resort police attempted to place Foreman under arrest for driving on a revoked and suspended license, he fled the area and a brief foot chase ensued.
Foreman ran to his vehicle and was able to flee the scene, driving north toward the Delaware line. Ocean City police did not pursue Foreman’s vehicle, instead alerting Delaware authorities to advise them the suspect was heading in their direction. Shortly thereafter, a Fenwick Island police officer on stationary radar patrol along Route 1 observed the Plymouth Voyager race through town limits at a high rate of speed, but did not pursue Foreman because of the speed and distance between the officer’s position and the suspect vehicle.
Not long after that, a Bethany Beach police officer observed the Voyager entering its town limits at a high rate of speed, but before the officer could begin pursuit, Foreman failed to negotiate a curve and left the roadway, striking a utility pole which caused live wires to fall on the vehicle, which burst into flames. Foreman died from injuries sustained in the accident. The northbound lanes of Route 1 in Bethany Beach were closed for several hours while investigators examined the crash site.
Meanwhile, back in Ocean City, one passenger of Foreman’s mini-van who did not flee the scene, later identified as Clayton Francis Ricketts, 21, of Georgetown, Del., was found to be wanted on an outstanding warrant for robbery. A third suspect left the scene and has not been apprehended.