One charged after police chase ends in fiery crash

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 14, 2024

SALISBURY — A man has been arrested after deputies said that he led them on a chase before crashing his car into a tree, where it caught fire.

The incident began at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, when a deputy stopped a vehicle on the northbound side of Interstate 85 for driving over the speed limit, said Chief Deputy Jason Owens, a spokesperson for the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. The driver of the vehicle initially stopped for the deputy before allegedly speeding off.

The vehicle turned onto Long Ferry Road before making a turn onto Leonard Road, where it ran off of the road and crashed into the woods in the 1200 block, said Captain Wesley Smith, who heads the patrol division of the sheriff’s office. The vehicle then caught fire with both people still inside of it, said Smith.

Deputies reportedly helped both the male driver and a female passenger escape the vehicle before they were treated by EMS personnel and taken to the hospital. There, Smith said that the driver, identified as 23-year-old Malik Tai Douglas, attempted to leave the hospital after a short stay and was arrested by deputies.

Smith said that the passenger of the car’s injuries were not believed to be serious and described her as a victim, saying that she attempted multiple times to get Douglas to stop during the incident.

Douglas was charged with felony flee to elude, misdemeanor driving while his license was revoked, misdemeanor reckless driving, misdemeanor speeding and misdemeanor failure to stop for sirens.

Douglas was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center and was not given a bond. He was out on bond for charges of felony flee to elude out of Guilford County from September of 2023.