JASPER COUNTY, SC (WTOC) - Authorities say a woman was killed after she and three other shoplifting suspects crashed their car into a tree while attempting to escape Beaufort County sheriff's deputies in Jasper County.
The crash happened after 3:30 p.m. Thursday on SC 315 near the Pink Pig in Levy.
A sheriff's office representative said deputies spotted a vehicle on Hwy 46 near the Jasper County line matching the description of a vehicle spotted earlier leaving a shoplifting incident in the Michael Kors retail store at Tanger Outlet in Bluffton.
The suspects in that shoplifting incident assaulted the clerk when they left the store, according to the sheriff's office.
When the suspects got into Jasper County, they took off at a high rate of speed and deputies turned on their blue lights to get around some other cars, according to the sheriff's office. By the time deputies caught up to the suspects they had already crashed into a tree, according to BCSP.
SC Highway Patrol says the suspects' car had crossed the centerline and struck a Ford pickup truck. The suspects' car then went off the roadway and struck a tree.
Three suspects got out of the car and ran. Deputies found them hiding in bushes. Two of the suspects were locked up at the Jasper County Detention Center while another was transported to Savannah for medical treatment as a result of the accident.
A woman, who's the fourth suspect, was found dead inside the vehicle. SC 315 was closed for several hours as crews cleared the scene.
The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, Jasper County Sheriff's Office and South Carolina Highway Patrol responded to the incident.