High-Speed Police Chase on Bridge-Tunnel Ends in Crash

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By Stefanie Jackson – A driver on the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel led police officers on a high-speed chase Sunday night that ended in a crash on the Virginia Beach side of the bridge.

Devlin Dalonte Smith Coleman, of Wilmington, Del., was leaving the Eastern Shore and pulled up to an EZ Pass toll booth on the bridge-tunnel Jan. 12, about 10 p.m.

He found himself unable to proceed when the gate at the toll booth did not raise. CBBT Police Chief Eddie Spencer said either Coleman didn’t have an EZ Pass transponder or the device wasn’t working.

When a police officer approached Coleman’s vehicle to assist him, the officer detected a “strong smell” of marijuana.

The officer asked Coleman to pull over, and Coleman briefly complied but then “took off,” initiating a police pursuit, Spencer said.

But when Coleman’s speed reached “triple digits,” police “completely backed off.” Officers set up road spikes on the south end of the bridge.

Coleman ran over the spikes, wrecked his vehicle, and was fleeing on foot when police apprehended him.

He is currently in the Eastern Shore Regional Jail in Eastville, Spencer said.

Coleman has six criminal charges against him, with more pending. He is being charged with two felonies – eluding police and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Lesser charges include failure to pay a toll, improper lane change, reckless driving due to speed, and driving with a suspended license.