ISLE OF PALMS, SC (WCSC) - Isle of Palms residents Gary and Linda Frank have no connection to the Jan. 30 high speed chase that has people talking and taking sides about whether Charleston County sheriff's deputies did the right thing. However, the couple has a strong opinion about the chase.
"Oh yes, it got me mad," Linda Frank said.
The Franks are angry because the chase involving Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon, his deputies and 31-year-old Timothy McManus reminded them of what happened to their niece in Boulder, Co.
"It's probably a 35 mile per hour zone and they're chasing the guy 80 miles per hour," Gary Frank said.
The couple says their niece, 45-year-old Debra Arnold was driving to work on Nov. 18, 2010 when she was hit head-on by another driver.
"He was on meth and was being chased by the police. She was in a residential area, so she didn't have a chance," Linda Frank said.
Frank says Arnold was in a coma from November until Christmas time and then was in the hospital for several months. The Franks said Arnold left the hospital with brain damage.
"My question is why do they have to chase? Why can't they setup a roadblock, why does this have to happen?," Frank asked.
The Franks have those same questions about last month's chase from Mt. Pleasant to Awendaw that reached speeds of more than 130 miles per hour.
"I don't understand how they can justify to go that fast. I mean wow, 'would you like to be on the road driving and then see this going on?,' " Frank asked.
McManus is charged with failing to stop for police and resisting arrest after the chase.
"What if you had been going down the road and they shot out his tires and that car went totally out of control and wiped you out?," Gary Frank said. "The minute they feel they're putting the general public at risk they should back off, say there's another day and we'll get 'em."
The Franks said Arnold had to have several surgeries and learn how to walk and talk again.
According to newspaper reports, the man who caused her injuries pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.