NEWPORT, DELAWARE (3/2/2016) A 24-year-old man killed when a car struck a tree in Newport early today was driving a stolen vehicle, police said.
The crash involving a 2007 Cadillac happened about 2:25 a.m. at East Justis and North Augustine streets.
The man killed, identified this evening as Rajahn Cooper of Wilmington, was pronounced dead at the scene by New Castle County paramedics. Newport and New Castle County police responded as well as New Castle County paramedics and Newport firefighters.
The car had been reported stolen about 12:30 a.m. from the 1300 block of Coleman St. in the Cleland Heights neighborhood, said Cpl. Tracey Duffy, a county police spokeswoman.
An officer later saw the car being driven on Coleman Street without any headlights and followed it into Alban Park.
“As the car picked up speed, the officer lost sight of the vehicle in the area and requested additional units to assist in locating the stolen car,” Duffy said.
Other officers then saw the car speeding west without headlights on Maryland Avenue near South DuPont Road (Route 100), and later discovered it had struck the tree in Newport, Duffy said.
She said investigators determined the car was going at high speed when it struck a curb, hit one tree then went another 50 feet and struck another tree in the median.
Duffy asked anyone with information to call police at 302-573-2800.