Crime & Courts

Teen stole 2 cars, 1 of person who tried to help, before semi killed her, SC cops say

South Carolina traffic collisions by the numbers

More than 141,000 traffic collisions were recorded in South Carolina in 2017. Here's why there were so many.
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More than 141,000 traffic collisions were recorded in South Carolina in 2017. Here's why there were so many.

A woman is dead after she tried to run away from a car wreck on foot after she stole two cars and the attempted theft of another, according to South Carolina law enforcement.

The crash happened on Interstate 20 near mile marker 59 in Lexington County at about 11 a.m., according to South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper David Jones.

The woman was identified as Maliyah Smith, a 19-year-old from East Point, Georgia, according to Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher.

Before the crash Smith stole two cars, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Capt. Adam Myrick said.

The teen stole a vehicle out of Georgia and broke down in Lexington County, according to Myrick. A Good Samaritan, unknowing that the broken down car was stolen, pulled over to help the woman. Smith stole the Good Samaritan’s vehicle and drove away on I-20 east, Myrick said.

She wrecked the second stolen car, crashing into several vehicles during the entire series of incidents, Jones said.

According to Myrick, another person tried to help Smith after the I-20 wreck and she attempted to steal that person’s vehicle as well. The vehicle had a manual transmission and she was unable to drive it.

Smith ran from the vehicle into the roadway and tried to jump onto a passing semi-truck, according to Jones. She was struck by the rear wheels of the truck.

Smith fell under the trailer, according to Fisher.

Emergency crews rushed to the scene and transported the teen with life-threatening injuries to an area hospital where she died, according to Jones.

The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the stolen vehicles, and highway patrol is investigating the collisions.

David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.