Car Chase Ends in Cloud of Smoke

Laurens Police Officer James Logan Kanipe was patrolling the Greenwood Road area at 11:15 last night when he reportedly observed a red Ford Taurus traveling northbound with both tail lights not operating. He initiated a traffic stop as the Taurus was turning onto Green Street. The officer asked for license, registration and insurance papers and the driver began to shuffle through things in the console, then said his driver’s license was in the trunk. He was advised to get it, but instead he allegedly pulled away. Officer Kanipe followed with blue lights and siren. The fleeing car turned onto Jersey Street and the driver turned out the headlights and the officer lost site of the car. Sgt. Gainey then saw the car on River Street, accelerating rapidly toward Hance Street and activated blue lights in pursuit. The car jumped at the Hance Street railroad crossing, damaging the oil pan and it began to smoke. Sgt. Gainey backed off from the smoke but kept the vehicle in sight as it went up Sullivan Street. It reportedly struck a parked car in front of 646 Sullivan Street and slid off the right side of the road. Sgt. Gainey was unable to see the vehicle due to smoke and debris in the air. He saw the car at the last moment he vehicle reportedly struck a door of the Taurus. The driver was attempting to flee the scene, but was taken into custody. He reportedly gave an incorrect name to police. The driver had visible lacerations from the wreck with the parked car. The Highway Patrol was called to investigate the wrecks. EMS transported the driver to Laurens County Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries then released and placed in the Johnson Detention Center.

49-year-old Michael Bruce “Mike” Coleman of 304 ½ Jersey Street, Laurens was being charged with Driving under the Influence, Driving under Suspension, Failure to Stop for a Blue Light, Giving False Information to Police, Leaving the Scene of a Wreck and Defective Equipment.