92-year-old man not charged following low speed chase in Kershaw County

akflanagan@thestate.comJune 27, 2014 

— Kershaw County Sheriff’s deputies were able to reunite an elderly man with his family after a low speed chase on I-20 Thursday evening.

Deputies responded to a BOLO (Be on the Lookout) for a reckless driver who was traveling east on I-20 without lights Thursday evening while conducting a traffic stop on a van at exit 101 on I-20.

During the traffic stop, officers arrested a convicted felon traveling from Georgia who was in possession of a firearm, according to Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews.

Sheriff Matthews said he was traveling westbound on I-20 when the BOLO for a reckless driver was issued. Matthews saw the vehicle without lights passing the rest area and headed in the opposite direction.

Matthews radioed the deputies conducting the traffic stop at exit 101 and alerted them to the progress of the reckless driver.

“A short time later, the vehicle in question approached the deputies at exit 101, left the roadway, went into the emergency lane and nearly hit a deputy,” Matthew said. “The deputy was able to jump out of the way of the vehicle.”

Matthews said the officer who was nearly hit by the vehicle was able to see the driver and observed that he was an elderly man.

Another deputy working the traffic stop was able to get behind the vehicle and attempted to stop it, Matthews said.

“The driver of the vehicle continued eastbound on I-20 and refused to stop, although it did not appear that he was actually fleeing,” Matthews said.

The pursuing deputy, with blue lights and siren activated, followed the elderly man at speeds reaching 55 to 60 miles per hour, Matthews said.

The chase continued for about seven miles into Lee County and ended just beyond exit 108 when a second deputy was able to get in front of the BOLO vehicle, Matthews said. Two deputies were able to box the vehicle in and stop it.

Matthews said the driver, a 92-year-old man, was extremely disoriented. Deputies were able to stop traffic and get both the man and his vehicle off the roadway without further incident.

Matthews said there was slight damage to the front of the man’s vehicle and it appeared he may have struck some traffic cones, which were most likely in the construction area of I-20 in Richland County.

“Deputies learned the elderly man had left an assisted living facility where he resided,” Matthews said. “He had just purchased the vehicle, which still bore paper tags.”

Family members were called and came to the scene. The man was not charged and was released to his family members, Matthews said.

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