Fleeing suspect’s car strikes and critically injures woman, 71

Erick Wyatte

DOVER — A 71-year-old woman was critically injured Thursday morning when hit by a suspect’s fleeing vehicle while walking in a crosswalk, authorities said.

According to city police, Erick Wyatte, 30, of Dover, had left a reported domestic incident when his green Ford Explorer struck the woman at the intersection of White Oak Road and U.S. 13 at approximately 9:50 a.m. The woman, alone at the time, suffered major injuries to her head/face and left arm and was hospitalized, Dover Police said.

Officers were first called to White Oak Condos to investigate a man who was reportedly beating on his ex-girlfriend’s car at her residence. A no contact order with the woman had been active through Kent County Superior Court since January, police said.

Mr. Wyatte allegedly left the scene by heading northbound on U.S. 13 at a high rate of speed before police arrived, authorities said, The Ford Explorer turned in to the Towne Pointe neighborhood and struck a parked Cadillac in the 500 block of Nimitz Road before it flipped as the driver lost control, police said.

Arriving officers took Mr. Wyatte into custody and he was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital, police said. The vehicle was towed from the scene.

“There was never a vehicle pursuit in this incident, as the officers did not have the chance to engage the suspect,” Dover Police spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said.

“The suspect began fleeing before a pursuit could be ensued. This progressed very quickly and the officers were essentially catching up to the suspect to engage him when he rolled his vehicle.”

A certified department Drug Recognition expert conducted tests and determined that Mr. Wyatte was under the influence of a drug, police said. The specific drug was unknown and police were awaiting results of a blood test to learn more.

No further details were available on the no-contact order.

Mr. Wyatte was charged with first-degree vehicular assault, driving under the influence of drugs, breach of release on a no contact order, driving while license suspended/revoked, leaving the scene of an injury accident, failure to report an accident resulting in injury or death, and various traffic offenses including no seatbelt, unsafe speed, stop sign violation and motor vehicle trespass. He was committed to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna on a $22,000 cash bond.

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