A 24-year-old man with three young children in his car led Kershaw County deputies on a wild, high-speed chase that caused other vehicles to crash on Interstate 20, officials said Thursday.
The man, identified by police as Darius D’Andre Pollard, jumped from his car and ran away from it and his children after crashing into an I-20 median, Sheriff Jim Matthews said.
Pollard has been charged with failure to stop for a blue light and child endangerment and will face other charges, Matthews said.
The children Pollard abandoned when he jumped out of the car and ran are aged 3, 2 and an infant, Matthews said.
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The car he wrecked was a Chevrolet Impala his wife had rented, Matthews said.
When an EMT was checking the children out, Matthews said, the 3-year-old told the EMT, “My daddy’s got a gun, and he’s going to shoot you.”
During the chase, the children – only two of whom were buckled into car seats – were down out of sight in the back seat and not visible to pursuing officers, Matthews said.
When the suspect’s car crashed, he jumped out and began running.
“He couldn’t run fast because he kept pulling his pants up because they were way down on his body,” Matthews said.
An officer gave chase on foot along the side of I-20, quickly caught Pollard, wrestled him to the ground and cuffed him.
“At that point, he starts yelling, ‘My kids are in the car!’ It’s like only after he was caught did he have concern about the kids,” Matthews said.
The incident began Wednesday afternoon when a deputy clocked the Impala racing toward Columbia on I-20 at 92 mph, Matthews said.
Pursued by the deputy, the Impala sped up to 110 mph, passing vehicles on I-20’s emergency lane and in the media.
“On his last attempt to pass a vehicle in the median, he lost control of his vehicle and caused a pickup truck to collide with an 18-wheeler,” Matthews said.
Pollard’s car was seriously damaged in that collision and it rolled to a stop in the median.
No one was seriously injured in the incident. The S.C. Highway Patrol is investigating.
Matthews said Pollard has previous arrests for armed robbery, assault, narcotics violations, contempt of court, resisting arrest, unlawful carrying of a weapon and pointing and presenting a firearm. He is currently on probation for resisting arrest in Sumter County.
No gun was found in the car, Matthews said.