The Bamberg County Sheriff’s Office says the driver of a stolen truck died in a crash after fleeing law enforcement in a two-county chase on Monday morning.
Orangeburg County Chief Deputy Coroner Sean Fogle confirmed the driver’s death, but said he cannot release the name of the deceased until the next of kin is notified.
The incident began just before 6 a.m. when a resident of Edisto River Road, near Branchville, called the Bamberg County Sheriff’s Office to report that someone stole his 2004, heavy-duty GMC Sierra 2500 pickup. A stainless steel, .22-caliber Magnum revolver was in the truck.
The deputy told the truck owner that he’d type a report about the missing truck, enter the truck into a national database of stolen property and put an alert out to surrounding counties’ law enforcement agencies to look for it.
As the deputy drove back to the office to write his report, he spotted a pickup matching the description of stolen truck in the parking lot of a Bamberg restaurant. He confirmed the license plate number matched, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.
The driver of the truck pulled around the restaurant and turned right onto U.S. Highway 301 toward Orangeburg.
The deputy turned on his blue lights and sirens in an attempt to stop the truck, but the driver continued, the report said.
A Bamberg police officer joined the chase.
During the chase, “the driver was swerving back and forth trying to detach a trailer,” the deputy wrote in the report.
The S.C. Highway Patrol and Orangeburg County deputies joined in the pursuit on U.S. 301.
The pickup truck turned onto Hickory Hill Road. The pickup reached Norway Road, where it struck another vehicle, the report said.
The pickup truck continued on Norway Road, through Bolentown and then took a right on Middle Willow Road where it collided with a tree near Rutland Road.
The impact of the collision ejected the driver.
The deputy called for Orangeburg County EMS and made sure no one else was inside of the truck.
A trooper checked for a pulse on the driver and performed CPR until EMS arrived.
EMS transported the driver to the Regional Medical Center.
The S.C. Highway Patrol asked the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department to investigate the incident because the Highway Patrol was involved in the pursuit, according to SCHP Lance Cpl. Tyler Tidwell.
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