Kershaw County car chase ends with flipped truck

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 8:21 PM EDT

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Camden police officers chased a suspect until a deputy forced the man off the road, flipping his truck in the early hours of Aug. 31.

WIS obtained a recording of KSCO dash cam video showing multiple collisions between suspect Richard Watts and Sgt. Aaron Gochnaur leading up to the final flip.

Everyone survived the crash.

The video shows Gochnaur ramming his vehicle into Watts’ truck from behind, resulting in the truck flipping on Wildwood Lane.

A WIS viewer provided the video, concerned about public safety and Gochnaur’s decision-making.

It’s unclear who originally filmed the video or why, but they used Gochnaur’s login to access the film.

Warning: The video includes adult language.

Video footage from a viewer of the chase.

Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan provided WIS Gochnaur’s use of force review, showing the board found Gochnaur was following office policy.

The review board cites how Gochnaur moved his car in front of Watts’ truck in an effort to slow the vehicle. The video confirms this.

Watts crashed into Gochnaur’s vehicle, which Gochnaur interpreted as lethal force.

Policy by T R on Scribd

The board states that Gochnaur responded with lethal force of his own, forcing Watts off the road.

In his incident report, Gochnaur cited Watts hitting his vehicle, concern over DUI, and public safety in his decision-making.

Viewers of the video can hear Gochnaur curse in anger moments after Watts hit the vehicle, speeding up to ram him.

A Camden Police Officer began the chase after finding Watts in a parked car just after midnight at the Springdale Dr. Goodwill. The officer reported seeing Watts under the influence. The officer reports Watts drove off after being instructed to stay.

WIS has contacted SLED about if the incident is being investigated.

Watts is being held at the Kershaw County Detention Center on a bond totaling $53,092 for six charges.

  • Driving without a license
  • Failure to stop for a blue light
  • Driving under license suspension
  • DUI
  • Probation violation
  • Assault and Battery 1st degree

S.C. Criminal Justice Academy Director Jackie Swindler declined to comment on the video but reiterated that each agency trains its own officers on its chase policies.

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