UPDATE: The Dewey Beach Police Department has released the following statement:
On August 9th, 2016, at approximately 2 A.M., the Dewey Beach Police, assisted by the Delaware State Police, responded to a motor vehicle collision in the 2200 block of Coastal Highway. Michelle Small, 36 (WF of Wyoming, Delaware), was traveling at a high rate of speed on Southbound Coastal Highway and lost control of her 2013 Mini Cooper at Clayton St. The vehicle crossed the center median, traveled approximately one-half block and collided into Ed’s Chicken and Crabs Restaurant. As a result of the collision a propane line was severed and a gas leak occurred. Three Dewey Beach Police Officers, a Delaware State Trooper and a civilian were in the area and entered the structure. The officers broke the driver side window of the vehicle and Small was extricated moments before the building caught fire. Fire engulfed the entire building and is presumed to be an entire loss.
Small was treated at the scene for minor injuries by the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Department. She was released to police custody and transported to the Dewey Beach Police Department for a DUI investigation. While in custody, Small became unresponsive and was transported to Beebe Medical Center by the Rehoboth Beach Fire Department.
Small has been charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and other motor vehicle offenses. The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s office is currently investigating the fire.
Ed’s Chicken & Crabs burst into flames early Tuesday after a woman drove her vehicle into the famous Dewey Beach eatery around 2:02 a.m.
Amazingly, the 36-year-old female driver and sole occupant of the vehicle appeared to have escaped without injury. She was evaluated by an ambulance crew and then handcuffed by police and placed into a police van. Around 4 a.m., the ambulance was called to the Dewey Beach police station when she was not alert.
Bystanders say she was headed south on Coastal Highway, took out a YIELD sign, crossed the median and plowed completely into Ed’s.
The fire started shortly after she exited the building. Fire officials found her vehicle inside the “raging inferno.” Utility lines were damaged by the fire and Coastal Highway was closed at times in both directions for an extended period.