RCSD: Three recent high-speed chase fatalities are 'very unusual'

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Four high profile police chases within the last week have resulted in three fatalities in the Midlands.

The most recent high-speed chase happened early Monday morning on Farming Creek road in Irmo which resulted in a crash.

The chase started with a suspicious person call at 3:30 this morning and investigators say once the deputy found the person, he took off.

When deputies ran the license plate on the vehicle he left in, it showed as a stolen car. The suspect ditched the vehicle and fled on foot after crashing it into a ditch.

"I heard the screech and the bang," Diana Wilson, who lives on Farming Creek road, said.

This marks the fourth high-speed chase in the Midlands within a week.The other three, occurring on March 26, March 28, and March 29, ended up having fatal consequences for those fleeing authorities.

"It is very unusual for us to see fatalities following the chase," Maria Yturria, with Richland County Sheriffs Department, said. "I would say that the last one we had in Richland County has been several years."

One such fatality was in 2013 when officers shot and killed a suspect when he exited his vehicle during a chase and fired on deputies.

After speaking with Richland County Sheriff's department, they say the string of recent high-speed chases is pure coincidence but emphasized the importance of the department's guidelines dictating what officers should do in pursuit situations.

Some of the factors taken into consideration are highly populated areas, time of day, and who they are pursuing in the chase.

"We want to make sure that our chases always put the public safety first and that the risk is minimal to the individuals in the community in what's going on," Yturria said.

WIS also requested South Carolina Department of Public Safety's pursuit policy and the number of pursuits in Richland County from 2016 to present.

According to SCDPS, these numbers take a couple of weeks to gather and will be only for the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

At this time no arrest has been made from the latest high-speed chase.

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