Woman charged after she was thrown from vehicle during police ch - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Woman charged after she was thrown from vehicle during police chase

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Tonya Michelle Sturkie (Source: Lexington County Detention Center) Tonya Michelle Sturkie (Source: Lexington County Detention Center)
The car Sturkie was driving at the time of the crash. (Source: Facebook) The car Sturkie was driving at the time of the crash. (Source: Facebook)

CORRECTION: Earlier this afternoon WIS identified the woman arrested in this instance as someone who appeared in Playboy Magazine and worked at WIS. That information was incorrect.

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A Gaston woman has been arrested after she flipped her vehicle several times while running from deputies in December, according to the Lexington County Sheriff's Department.

Tonya Michelle Sturkie, 44, of Gaston was arrested and charged with failure to stop for a blue light last week.

According to a Lexington County Sheriff's Department incident report, a deputy observed Sturkie's 2001 Volvo with its emergency flashers on in front of the parking lot of Sand Mountain Grocery on Fish Hatchery Road.

The deputy followed the vehicle on Fish Hatchery Road until it came to a stop in the roadway before pulling off to the shoulder.

Sturkie immediately exited the vehicle and walked toward the deputy leaving the door open, according to the report. She told the officer that she was having problems with her vehicle's defrost and could not see out of her windshield, the report stated.

The deputy reported a strong odor of alcohol coming from Sturkie, but she said she had not been drinking.

The deputy asked Sturkie to stand at the rear of the vehicle while he walked back to the patrol car to request a traffic unit. Sturkie then ran to her vehicle, got in and drove away, according to the report.

As she drove away, the deputy got into his vehicle and radioed to dispatch that he had initiated a pursuit, the report stated.

The pursuit continued on Fish Hatchery Road toward Meadowfield Road at speeds of approximately 60 miles per hour. After swerving between lanes, Sturkie slowed to allow her passenger to exit the vehicle, according to the report.

Sturkie turned on Casa Dell Road and then onto Woodtrail Drive, according to the deputy. Moments later, Sturkie's vehicle left the roadway and crashed near the 1700 block of Woodtrail Drive.

The deputy reported seeing the vehicle flip several times. Sturkie fell from the vehicle while it was still airborne, according to the deputy.

EMS arrived a short time later and transported Sturkie to the hospital. She was severely injured.

Because deputies were unable to arrest Sturkie at the time of the incident, investigators were not able to determine if she was driving under the influence at the time of the crash, according to sheriff's department spokesperson Major John Allard.

She was arrested on an arrest warrant on February 7 and released the same day on a $10,000 bond.

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