Suspect vehicle wrecks after striking sheriff during chase

Amos Strickland
Amos Strickland

Sheriff Jody Greene was driving one of the vehicles involved in a chase Thursday that crossed the state line and ended in a crash that sent a suspect to the hospital.
Amos Earl Strickland, 62, of Pine Circle Drive, Tabor City, faces charges of felony fleeing to elude arrest, according to the sheriff’s office. He could face additional charges in South Carolina. Strickland is in stable condition in a South Carolina hospital.
In a press release, the sheriff’s office reported that Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Detectives were conducting surveillance and gathering information in reference to an ongoing homicide investigation. The homicide occurred on Memory Lane on October 5. The Sheriff’s Office has not released the name of the victim or the two individuals who survived the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation.
Detectives were looking for vehicles and persons of interest related to the homicide, the release said, and were traveling on Swamp Fox Highway East, when a dark in color Ford Mustang pulled out of a driveway and accelerated quickly onto the highway.
A license check showed that the registration and the vehicle did not match, and the registration plate was revoked. Detectives did not know who the driver was or if he was involved t in the homicide case. They activated blue lights and siren to initiate a traffic stop, and the Mustang continued down the road.
The vehicle turned onto Dothan Road from Swamp Fox Highway East, the release said. Detectives then radioed Columbus Central advising that the vehicle was not stopping. The driver allegedly violated several laws and traffic offenses by driving recklessly, speeding, failing to stop for stop signs, and attempting to wreck the detectives, according to the release.
“These offenses qualify for the charge of felony flee and elude from law enforcement,” the sheriff’s office release said.
Detectives pursued the vehicle into South Carolina, where the Ford Mustang continued to travel and did not stop or pull over.
“Once the Ford Mustang crossed over into the South Carolina line, the driver placed his left hand out of his driver side window and completed a waving motion with his hand for approximately three seconds as he was waving goodbye,,” the release said.
Detectives radioed Columbus Central requesting assistance from nearby deputies and South Carolina Law Enforcement, giving the names of each road and landmarks they passed.
Horry County Police joined the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office detectives in the pursuit of the suspect.
The chase led down several roads in South Carolina with officers attempting to stop the vehicle.
While on S.C. Highway 9, CCCSO detectives and Horry County Police were then joined by more Columbus County detectives, Sheriff Greene, the South Carolina Highway Patrol, and S.C. S.L.E.D. Horry County Police deployed stop sticks on Highway 9 in an attempt to slow the suspect vehicle down. While the stop sticks flattened some of the car’s tires, the Ford Mustang continued driving recklessly and dangerously.
The suspect vehicle turned off Highway 9 onto Flag Patch Road, then onto Log Cabin Road. A group of 12 or more citizens were standing near the roadway, the sheriff’s office reported.
“Detectives and Sheriff Greene were attempting a rolling roadblock to slow the Mustang down with the intent to protect the citizens near the roadway,” the release said.
The driver of the Mustang attempted to outrun the roadblock by accelerating and weaving, which caused the Mustang to strike Greene’s patrol vehicle, nearly causing a crash with other patrol vehicles. The Ford Mustang went out of control and crashed.
Medical care was immediately given by detectives along with South Carolina Highway Patrol. A revolver was located on the suspect, inside of the Ford Mustang. The South Carolina Highway Patrol Accident Reconstruction Team conducted a crash investigation on Flag Patch Road. Troopers also executed a search warrant on the suspect vehicle, where they narcotics and alcohol, according to the sheriff’s office.
Strickland sustained injuries from the crash and was transported to Grand Strand Medical Hospital where he is in stable condition, at this time. Mr. Strickland may face additional charges by South Carolina Law Enforcement.
North Carolina law allows officers to pursue suspects into South Carolina for certain felony offenses.

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About Jefferson Weaver 786 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the managing editor of columbuscountynews.com and news director for WTXY radio. He can be reached at 910.632.4965, or by email at jeffersonweaver@columbuscountynews.com.

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