Cops: Man flees police after downtown wreck following hit-and-run

Cops: Man flees police after downtown wreck following hit-and-run

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Mt. Pleasant man was arrested this week after police say he crashed his SUV and ran from officers in downtown Charleston after being involved in a hit-and-run wreck in West Ashley.

According to a Charleston Police Department incident report, officers responded to reports of a hit-and-run accident at Savannah Highway and Stocker Drive just before 8 p.m. Wednesday. When they arrived, a man told them he was sitting at the light minutes earlier when a man driving a GMC Yukon rear-ended him, pushing him into the intersection.

The alleged victim told police the SUV driver continued north on Savannah Highway immediately following the wreck.

Another report states a driver in West Ashley saw the incident and pursued the driver, informing police he followed the suspect to the intersection of Lockwood Drive and Wentworth Street. When police arrived to the area, they said they saw the suspect turn onto Barre Street from Wentworth, avoiding the flashing lights of an MUSC Public Safety cruiser.

Officers said the driver continued onto Montagu Street and Gadsden Street before turning onto Montagu Street, all while increasing his speed to evade them. Police said they decided to cancel their pursuit at that time.

Police also said that while the suspect was turning onto Montagu from Gadsden, it appeared he possibly disregarded a stop sign before colliding with an SCE&G utility pole.

Officers said the driver, 50-year-old Michael Barber of London Bridge Road in Mt. Pleasant, bailed from the SUV on Gadsden Street and was found hiding a short time later behind a home near Beaufain and Gadsden streets.

Police said Barber appeared to be under the effects of alcohol, and admitted to having two Bloody Marys. Barber told police he was going to pick up his sons in West Ashley, according to the report.

He was taken to the Charleston Count Detention Center on charges of failure to stop for blue lights, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident involving minor injury. He was also cited for driving too fast for conditions.

Barber was released after being issued a $13,495 bond.

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