South Carolina

SC police officer ejected from motorcycle while trying to assist fellow officer

Spartanburg police Officer Jason Harris was injured in a collision Tuesday night. Portions of Union Street were completely shut down after the wreck, which happened around 10 p.m.
Spartanburg police Officer Jason Harris was injured in a collision Tuesday night. Portions of Union Street were completely shut down after the wreck, which happened around 10 p.m.

A Spartanburg police officer is in serious condition after he was involved in a motorcycle crash Tuesday night while on his way to assist another officer.

Officer Jason Harris remains in Spartanburg Medical Center.

Harris, 39, was traveling east on Union Street near Domino’s Pizza around 9:45 p.m. when a woman traveling west began turning left into a private drive, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol. Harris struck the right rear side of the vehicle and was ejected from his 2011 Kawasaki motorcycle, Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Hovis said Wednesday morning.

He was wearing a helmet, Hovis said.

The woman, Alexis Maris Lunn, 20, of Inman, was driving a 2004 Ford. She was wearing a seat belt, but was also injured and taken to Spartanburg Medical Center.

Hovis said charges are pending, though the investigation is ongoing.

Marlaina Brooks, who lives in a house near the crash site, said her husband and son were first on the scene.

She said they heard a popping sound that sounded like a gunshot followed by a woman screaming “help” before they went out and found Harris in the road.

She said Harris was able to speak with her husband.

“He asked him his name and he told him how old he was and he kept trying to keep him awake. He just kept saying, ‘Hang on, help is coming.’”

Brooks said her husband flagged down a passing police officer while she called 911.

She also said Lunn appeared “hysterical” and had said she was going to Domino’s to pick someone up.

“She was obviously just very distraught,” Brooks said.

Harris was in stable but serious condition Wednesday afternoon, Deputy Chief Jennifer Kindall said.

“We’re all holding up. This is a difficult time overall. Everyone is doing the best they can,” she said.

Spartanburg Police Chief Alonzo Thompson released a statement following the crash.

“We, the members of the Spartanburg Police Department, are all saddened by the very serious accident involving a member of our team. We ask for your prayers for the officer, his family and his colleagues,” Thompson said.

According to Wendi Lively, deputy director of Spartanburg County Communications, Harris has undergone multiple surgeries and has been given 61 units of blood since Tuesday night.

A blood drive is now planned for Harris.

The drive will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday through the Blood Connection. Blood Connection buses will be stationed in front of City Hall for anyone wishing to donate.

“We need everyone’s support of this effort,” Kindall said in an email. “If you are unable to donate, please find someone who can donate on your behalf.”

Harris is one of several officers in the department’s motorcycle unit. He has been with the department since July 2004, Kindall said.

The crash is not Harris’ first injury in the line of duty. He was shot while with a tactical team that had gone into an apartment to serve a search warrant.

An online fundraiser has been created to help Harris’ family pay for medical expenses. That fundraiser can be found at gofundme.com/support-officer-jason-harris.

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