Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Two people died and two are expected to face possession of a stolen vehicle and other charges after they evaded police, ran off the road and came to a crashing upside down halt after hitting trees.
The incident occurred April 3 at about 10:15 p.m. as a 2011 Lexus with four occupants attempted to elude a Hanahan Police Department officer on Foster Creek Road, according to officials.
Two stolen firearms from an April 2 theft were found on the ground near the wrecked vehicle, according to an HPD report.
The three passengers were ejected during the crash. The driver was the only one wearing a seatbelt and was not ejected, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
Patrick Graham, 19, of North Charleston, was pronounced dead on the scene by Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury. Martin Pinckney, 18, of North Charleston, was transported to the Medial University of South Carolina, where he was pronounced dead by Salisbury, according to a statement from the coroner’s office. Their cause of death is head and body trauma, according to Salisbury.
The driver, Shaylynn Nichole Capers, 17, of Summerville and other passenger, Jimarie Travis Whitehead, 19, of Charleston, were transported to MUSC, according to SCHP and HPD.
One of the stolen guns, a Beretta pistol, was found in the waistband of Graham’s pants, according to the report.
When the towing company arrived the vehicle was turned back over and a second stolen gun, a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber, was found on the ground, according to the report.
The incident started at 10:12 p.m. when the Lexus flashed its hi-beam headlights at an HPD patrol vehicle, which then turned around and attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Foster Creek Road near Crossbill Trail, according to the report.
The Lexus turned onto Crossbill Trail traveling slowly and the front passenger door opened and closed. The Lexus then fled at a high rate of speed, according to the report and a police dashboard video.
The Lexus ran a stop sign at Crossbill Trail and Coopers Hawk Drive then began to lose control and ran over a mailbox, overcorrected, and hit a mailbox on the other side of the street, according to dash video.
The Lexus made a U-turn at the Crossbill Trail cul-de-sac and sped past the HPD officer back to Foster Creek Road where it reached “reckless speeds,” according to the report.
HPD Lt. Michael Fowler said the patrol vehicle got up to 77 mph during the chase and the Lexus was still pulling away. The officer in video told dispatchers the Lexus reached speeds of 100 mph.
The officer saw a large dust cloud and found the suspect vehicle upside down in a field across from a church at 1516 Foster Creek Road. The officer approached the car giving loud verbal commands.
He found Capers screaming and hanging halfway out the front passenger window.
Graham was found on the ground about 30 feet from the vehicle with his head near a large tree branch. He was not breathing, according to the report.
Another black male was found about 40 feet from the vehicle lying on his stomach with multiple wounds and much blood, according to the report.
Whitehead fled the scene and knocked on a Lanier Street door asking to use the phone and was soon found by authorities. He was taken to MUSC.
He was released from the hospital the afternoon of April 4 and was expected to appear before bond court April 5, according to Fowler.
Capers is expected to be charged with failure to dim lights, failure to stop for blue lights and possession of a stolen vehicle, Fowler said, with more charges pending from SCHP. Whitehead is expected to face similar charges.
The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office listed the Lexus as stolen from St. George.
HPD is investigating the April 2 burglary in an attempt to link it to the stolen guns and other goods found near the crash site, Fowler said.
“The stuff was still in the car, they were in the same area 24 hours later,” Fowler said. “We’re handling everything up to the point where the vehicle crashed . . . both of my detectives were out with little to no sleep. I sent them home at 3 a.m.”