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Swansea police officer injured while assisting Gaston PD with vehicle pursuit

Swansea, SC 10/15/2021 (Paul Kirby) – A Town of Swansea police officer was injured, and his patrol car received major damage when he went off the road and struck a home during a vehicle pursuit Thursday afternoon. At the time, several Gaston officers were pursuing a silver Toyota Tacoma pickup truck pulling a utility trailer that had fled a traffic stop not far from the Gaston Police Department and the Town Hall.

Gaston Police Chief Stephen Watkins was lead in the pursuit which wound through Gaston and then over SC Hwy 6 into the rural area north of Swansea. Because the fleeing vehicle was pulling the trailer, Chief Watkins was unable to employee a PIT maneuver that would have caused the pickup to spin out. He had asked for surrounding departments to try and get in front of the fleeing pickup to deploy tire deflation sticks and that’s when the two Swansea officers that were on-duty responded and joined the pursuit.

At the intersection of W.E. Jeffcoat Road and SC Hwy 6, one of the Swansea officers lost control of his vehicle, slid through a yard, and hit a brick home. Because of the officer’s collision, the pursuit was terminated as all the involved officers rushed to the injured officers assistance. At first, there were fears that he was trapped in the vehicle but other personnel on the scene were able to free him from the wreckage and provide aid until units from the Lexington County Fire Service and EMS arrived.

The Swansea officer was transported to a local medical facility for evaluation. His condition is currently unknown however, the injuries he sustained are not thought to be life-threatening.

The pickup truck that was fleeing displayed a tag registered to someone who lives near Pelion. A SC State Trooper was able to make it to that neighborhood quickly, but the truck never showed back up in the area.

The investigation into this incident continues. Once located, the driver of the fleeing vehicle may face enhanced charges as a result of the officer being injured.


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