Dixiana, SC (Paul Kirby) – Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher has now confirmed two are dead, and one others injured, after a violent crash ended a pursuit with Lexington County sheriffs’ deputies. The pursuit, which started somewhere north of Gaston, ended at the SC State Farmer’s Market in Dixiana when the Volkswagen that was running struck a Harvest Hope Food Bank delivery van, jumped a guard railing, and ended up in a deep ditch. The van was on its side, but its driver doesn’t appear to have life-threatening injuries. The Volkswagen appeared to be on its wheels, but it looked as if someone might still be in the vehicle. Officers also reported that someone was thrown from the vehicle during the crash.
Several Gaston police officers tried to get in front of the fleeing car and spike its tires on Woodtrail Drive. Those officers were not able to get into position in time to deploy their stop-stick tire deflation devices. The car the deputy was chasing turned left off Woodtrail toward Cayce. Several miles later, it struck the delivery van right at the market’s entrance.
According to South Congaree Police Chief Josh Shumpert, the car was reported stolen in that town this morning. His officers had taken the report and just started working the case when the heard that the county was pursuing the stolen car. He said that the car had been parked in a place where its owner didn’t know if it had been stolen this morning or over the weekend.
According to Captain Adam Myrick, spokesman for the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, the entire case has been turned over to the SCHP which is standard procedure in any case where a pursuit they are involved in ends in a crash. He said that none of their cruisers were involved in the actual crash and no LCSD employees were injured. He said he would defer any additional information to the spokesman for the SC Highway Patrol.
The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department has a very strict pursuit policy as part of their international accreditation process. They rarely pursue vehicles for any distance and are constantly in communication with their supervisors and other officers if a suspect initiates a pursuit. If traffic becomes heavy, or the pursuit becomes too dangerous in other ways, their supervisory staff will call the pursuit off and use investigative methods to locate the individual who fled.
The Lexington County Coroner’s office and the SC Highway Patrols MAIT team are on the scene in the early stages of their investigation. The name of the suspects that were killed will not be released until proper notification of the next of kin is made.