Deputies: 2 killed after motorist flees traffic stop, crashes into tree

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Authorities say the two people killed after a car struck a tree on James Island late Tuesday were fleeing from Charleston County deputies.

Charleston County Sheriff's Office Captain Eric Watson said deputies tried to initiate a traffic stop on the Chevrolet Impala before it sped away and crashed.

On Tuesday around 11:52 p.m, a sheriff's deputy saw a 2004 Chevy Imapala leaving the Blue Water gas station on 772 Folly road.

According to the deputy, the Impala then crossed all lanes of traffic on Folly Road and traveled to the Walgreens' parking lot on Camp Road. The deputy said that the car then left the parking lot, crossed all traffic lanes and traveled to the intersection of Folly Road and Camp Road.

As the car made a right turn onto Camp Road, the deputy attempted a traffic stop for the traffic violations. According to a sheriff's office report, the Impala failed to pull over and fled down Camp Road.

The sheriff's office says as the deputy continued to pursue the vehicle, the driver entered into a curve on Camp Road at the intersection of Dill's Bluff Road. An incident report says the vehicle was traveling too fast and over corrected causing the vehicle to crash into a tree.

Both the driver and passenger of the vehicle then sustained fatal injuries. Toland Gathers, 35, and Shahied Ladson, 34, died in the single-vehicle wreck, the Charleston County Coroner's Office said.

Both victims are from Charleston. Neither the driver nor the passenger were wearing a seatbelt, troopers say.

Deputies say they located 7.5 grams of cocaine along and a baggie of cocaine base in the suspect's vehicle. Authorities say unknown quantities of drugs were also found on the two men.

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