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Deputy chases, stops truck on foot

Posted: July 26, 2018 3:38 p.m.
Updated: July 27, 2018 1:00 a.m.
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Two Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputies and a Camden police officer were involved in an unusual situation Wednesday after apprehending a suspected drunk driver who died and they revived.

According to a KCSO press release, Kershaw County 911 dispatchers reported that a white Ford F-150 pickup truck was being driven in Lugoff on U.S. 1 heading toward Camden and it appeared that the driver was under the influence. A KCSO narcotics investigator who was monitoring the radio observed the F-150 being driven into the median ditch just before it proceeded onto the Wateree River bridge.

The investigator turned around, caught up with the truck and attempted to stop it with blue lights and siren. The investigator observed an elderly white male who appeared to be in a daze, possibly having a medical event, driving the truck. The driver would not stop and was bouncing his truck off both sides of the bridge as he continued toward Camden, according to the press release.

The investigator continued to follow the truck as a second deputy and a Camden police officer were responding, as well. Other motorists in the area were doing their best to avoid this incident that was continuing on U.S. 1, according to the press release.

According to the press release, at one point, when the F-150 slowed “almost to a crawl,” the KCSO investigator jumped out of his vehicle and tried to chase the truck down on foot.  However, he was unable to do so at that time and he re-entered his vehicle. The F-150 driver continued, at one point sideswiping the responding Camden Police Department (CPD) patrol car as the Camden officer was trying to keep the F-150 from driving into oncoming lanes.

According to the press release, the F-150 continued to move at a very slow speed, so the KCSO investigator positioned his car in a manner that allowed him to get out of his vehicle and actually chase the F-150 down on foot and catch it. The investigator was able to enter the F-150 on the passenger side, climb into the truck, slam on the brakes and put the truck in park. The driver was unconscious, according to the press release.

At that point, a second deputy and a Camden police officer arrived and were able to remove the driver, who had stopped breathing and was unresponsive, according to the press release. It appeared to the officers that the man had died. The Camden officer and the second deputy began administering CPR to the driver right there on the road and were able to get his heart beating. Lugoff Fire Department units arrived on the scene and continued to treat the driver until Kershaw County EMS arrived, according to the press release.

According to the press release, it is believed that the driver of the F-150 was suffering from an opioid overdose, as an empty prescription bottle of oxycodone, a powerful opiate, was found in the driver’s pants pocket. While enroute to the hospital, the driver was administered Narcan, which is used to treat opioid overdoses, and he immediately responded.
The driver’s condition was unknown as of press deadline Thursday, however, one of the deputies reported that the driver was alert and “raising cain” at the hospital, wanting to leave, according to the press release.

According to Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews, opioid abuse in Kershaw County is rising at an alarming rate, as it is everywhere. Drug overdose deaths in Kershaw County are at an all time high and are impacting all age groups and ethnicities, he said.

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