Fleeing driver escapes, but his passengers stay put | Crime | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | June 29, 2016 5:00 pm
Last Updated: June 29, 2016 at 11:17 am
Three arrested after driver leads officers on high-speed chase, then wrecks at Sherrill’s Automotive.
The Walterboro Police Department is still on the lookout for the driver of a vehicle that led officers on a high-speed chase the morning of June 22. The fleeing driver’s three occupants are in custody on multiple charges.
Members of the city police department were conducting a traffic safety checkpoint on Robertson Boulevard June 22 at 1:33 a.m. when an eastbound vehicle made a right turn into the parking lot of the city’s maintenance shop and returned to Robertson Boulevard, headed west at a high rate of speed to avoid the checkpoint.
An officer gave chase, his blue lights and siren activated, as the fleeing car turned north on Jefferies Highway and then left on Dandridge Road.
The fleeing driver made his way through the Hyde Park Subdivision and returned to Jefferies Highway, traveling northbound at a high rate of speed.
The chase ended near the intersection of Jefferies Highway and McLeod Road when the driver lost control of his vehicle and left the roadway. The car broke through a fenced-in area at Sherrill’s Automotive II at 6263 Jefferies Highway and then collided with two vehicles parked inside the fence.
As officers were arriving, they spotted the driver fleeing on foot. Canine units were dispatched to the area but were unsuccessful in tracking the driver.
The three other occupants had remained inside the vehicle and were taken into custody.
When the vehicle was searched, officers reportedly found a bag of crystal methamphetamine, a second bag containing crack cocaine, a large open bottle of whiskey, an empty bottle of whiskey and four Styrofoam cups that had been used to consume the alcohol.
Also allegedly found in the vehicle were nine cell phones, two cell phone batteries, four portable gas burners and a cloth bag containing scales and a spoon.
When the occupants were interviewed, one female reportedly provided officers with a false identity and refused to talk; a male passenger said he had been asleep through the whole thing.
The third occupant said she was not aware of the illegal substances in the motor vehicle.
All three of the passengers complained of neck and back pain and were taken to the Emergency Department of Colleton Medical Center for evaluation.
Then it was on to the Colleton County Detention Center, where Brian M. Lutton, 46, of Summerville, Priscilla A. Merritt, 38, of Hanahan and Kellie L. Furr, 41, of Ridgeville were arrested for possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and illegal possession of legal alcohol. Merritt was also charged with obstructing justice because of her alleged attempt to provide a false identity.
The driver who got away, reportedly a Charleston man, faces arrest warrants on multiple charges in connection with the chase and what officers found inside his vehicle.