No one died, but a pedestrian suffered grievous bodily injuries and two SUVs incurred significant damage throughout the course of a high-speed police chase of a suspected car thief near Columbia, South Carolina (SC). The pursuit occurred on the morning of December 3, 2014, covering almost 30 miles on Fernandina Road, stretches of I-26 and I-20, and Monticello Road.
The wreck that injured the pedestrian happened at the start of the chase, with the at-fault driver leaving the scene. Shortly before getting onto the interstate and traveling in the wrong direction, the driver in the stolen vehicle rear-ended an SUV. The incident finally came to end when the fleeing driver collided with a second SUV on a surface street close to the highway.
The man who caused the crashes and injuries faces multiple felony charges. The individual he hurt, and the people whose vehicles he damaged, also have strong grounds for seeking compensation in civil court for medical expenses and repair costs. Collecting on those claims could prove difficult if, as seems likely, the man behind the wheel of the stolen car lacks insurance. Uninsured motorist riders to their own insurance policies could help the victims avoid undue financial hardships, but holding the person who harmed them accountable would probably be more satisfying.
Another factor that bears looking into is whether the law enforcement officials who pursued the suspect conducted the chase appropriately and as safely as possible. Police have wide latitude in carrying out their duties to protect the public and apprehend individuals who commit crimes, but they are not completely absolved from following certain rules relating to keeping innocent bystanders safe. To ensure their rights to secure compensation for their injuries and property damage are protected and respected, the victims of the crashes related to the police chase outside South Carolina's capital city should seek free consultations with plaintiff's lawyers who specialize in sorting through the complex issues raised by unique traffic accidents.