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Young man almost kills himself by leading Cayce DPS officer on high-speed chase

Cayce, SC (Paul Kirby) – Wednesday morning, an officer from the Cayce Department of Public Safety was involved in a vehicle pursuit. It happened at approximately 3:17 a.m.

The officer observed a car traveling at a high rate of speed in the 900 block of Knox Abbott Drive. When he turned around on the suspect vehicle, the driver appeared to be stopping for the officer. However, instead of pulling over, the suspect initiated a pursuit by speeding off toward the Blossom Street Bridge.

The driver of the fleeing car crossed the Congaree and turned right on to Assembly Street. While in pursuit, the officer lost sight of the vehicle but continued toward where he had last seen the car. He continued down South Assembly Street and came upon a vehicle bumper in the roadway along with two power poles that were cut in half. The officer looked off the road and saw the mangled vehicle lying on its driver’s side. The driver, a white male, was trapped in the twisted wreckage. Emergency crews responded and extricated the suspect out of the vehicle. He was then transported to the Palmetto Richland Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The suspect is identified as 22-year-old Michael Bender Kepler of Cayce, SC. Charges are pending for driving under the Influence and failure to stop for blue lights. Test revealed that Kepler had a blood alcohol concentration over three times the legal limit.

The Cayce Department of Public Safety has released dashcam footage of the incident. That footage can be seen by clicking the link here.

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