Coroner: St. Matthews police chief victim of fatal car wreck - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Coroner: St. Matthews police chief victim of fatal car wreck

(Source: St. Matthews Police Department) (Source: St. Matthews Police Department)
(Source: Wannamaker family) (Source: Wannamaker family)

CALHOUN COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The South Carolina Highway Patrol said a car involved in a fatal wreck did belong to the St. Matthews Police Department.

The Calhoun County coroner confirmed that 60-year-old Police Chief Capers Wannamaker was the driver of that vehicle and died from a cervical spine fracture at the scene.

The accident happened around 1:00pm on Burke Road, one mile south of the city of St. Matthews.

Troopers said Wannamaker was traveling west when his car went off the right side of the road, then went off the left side of the road and struck a tree.

Wannamaker wasn't wearing his seat belt, according to troopers, and was not ejected from the vehicle.

The incident remains under investigation.

Carson's Funeral Home is handling funeral arrangements, but the owner said those aren't final yet.

Mayor Joe Sikes said, "This is a shock to everybody. The chief has been well-liked. He was highly visible and a pretty good all-around guy. I don't know anybody who can say anything bad about him."

Sikes will be meeting with city council this week to figure out what's next. Until then, Lt. Andy Hayes was named acting chief.

Wannamaker had been police chief for more than a decade.

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved.

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