Chase ends in crash and death

Published 2:07 pm Wednesday, February 3, 2021

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Vehicle pursuit late Tuesday from Green Creek ends in fatal crash

GREEN CREEK—A Polk County Sheriff’s Office pursuit Tuesday night ended in a crash with the suspect dying. 

The sheriff’s office said around 9 p.m. Tuesday, a deputy attempted to stop a passenger car for a traffic violation in Green Creek. The vehicle failed to stop and the pursuit included speeds in excess of 90 mph, according to Polk County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer and Attorney John Sauve. 

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The pursuit continued into South Carolina and the vehicle was involved in a single-vehicle collision, where it struck a tree on Ray Blackley Road, according to Sauve. 

Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger said his office was summoned to a motor vehicle crash on Ray Blackley Road in Inman, S.C. at 9:20 p.m. Tuesday. The Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office identified the unrestrained driver as Wayne Keith Smith Jr., 38, of Campobello. Clevenger said Smith was pronounced deceased at the scene. The investigation remains ongoing by the S.C. Highway Patrol, M.A.I.T. and the Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office, according to Clevenger. A forensic exam was scheduled to be complete on Wednesday. 

Sauve said Spartanburg County emergency responders were dispatched immediately to the scene, but upon their arrival the driver was pronounced deceased. 

Polk County officials say the South Carolina Highway patrol is investigating the collision. Sauve also said an administrative review of the incident is being conducted by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.