Truck burns up after hitting tree head-on

UPDATE: Delaware State Police have identified the driver who died in a Dec. 25, 2019 Fire Tower Road crash as 67-year-old Michael R. Thiel, of Seaford.


The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit is investigating a fatal single-vehicle crash east of Laurel.

The incident was reported around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 25, when a Ford F-150 pickup truck was traveling northbound on Fire Tower Road at high speed, attempting to negotiate a moderate left curve. The vehicle exited the east edge of the roadway into the grass and struck a large tree head-on. The catastrophic impact caused the tree to completely penetrate the engine compartment and enter into the back seat, trapping the driver.

The vehicle burst into flames upon impact and was completely consumed by fire when first responders arrived. The operator was pronounced deceased at the scene.

At this time, the only known vehicle information is that it is a later model Ford F-150 with an extended cab and possibly silver. The VIN number and registration are currently unknown.

Fire Tower Road, in the area of the crash, was closed for approximately over two hours while the crash was investigated and cleared.

The crash remains under investigation by the Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit. Please call Troop 5 in Bridgeville at 302-337-1090 with any information about this crash.