An early-morning police chase in Berkeley County ended with the deaths of two Summerville men.
The driver and a passenger of a four-door Pontiac that authorities say sped through a safety checkpoint were killed when their vehicle left the road and hit a tree, according to a press release from Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury.
Salisbury said the vehicle accelerated through the checkpoint, operated by the S.C. Highway Patrol and the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office, at about 12:15 a.m. Thursday morning. Two units followed the vehicle as it turned twice before leaving the roadway.
The passenger, 50-year-old Dwayne Pierce of Summerville, was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, 52-year-old Gerald Washington of Summerville, was transported to a local hospital and died shortly arrival.
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The Charleston County Sheriff's Office is investigating.