Hit-and-run victim helps police track down suspect

Amber Harrell. (Source: CCDC)
Amber Harrell. (Source: CCDC)

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - Police say a 30-year-old woman is behind bars after the woman she hit with her car followed her and called police.

The North Charleston Police Department charged Amber Nichole Harrell of Moncks Corner with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a collision with attended vehicle.

On Sunday morning, police responded to the area of Crowfield Plantation near Highway 176 for a reported hit-and-run. Authorities were told that the suspect fled the area following the collision, and the victim followed the suspect while calling police.

Goose Creek police, who also responded, located Harrell as the victim was still following the suspect.

The responding NCPD officer said he could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from Harrell's SUV. When the officer asked her about the accident, police say Harrell stared at the officer as if in a "daze" and appeared to not realize she had been in a collision.

The officer reported that he observed fresh damage to the entire left side of Harrell's SUV, including damage to the driver's side mirror. According to the officer, the woman fumbled around for her driver's license, gave it to the officer then began staring at him as if in a "daze" again.

Police say when the officer asked Harrell how many alcoholic beverages she drank, Harrell said she had none. After the officer spoke with the 30-year-old victim, he returned to Harrell and asked her to step out of the SUV so she could see the damage to her vehicle, but she refused, according to investigators.

The officer told Harrell that the victim said him Harrell had caused a collision. Police say the officer asked Harrell again how many alcoholic beverages she had, to which she replied, "A couple."

Harrell also told the officer that she had just dropped off a family member and was heading home. The officer arrested Harrell for DUI after Harrell refused to submit to sobriety tests.

The 30-year-old victim said the incident started when she was stopped at a red light on Rivers Avenue near Otranto Road. According to the victim, out of nowhere, Harrell's SUV struck her car.

A police report states that Harrell pulled into the Stokes Honda at 8650 Rivers Ave., followed by another car driven by a man. The man told the victim that there was no need to call the police.

The victim said after she told both Harrell and the man that she would be calling police, both Harrell and the man jumped into their vehicles and took off.

Investigators say the victim followed the suspect, but was unsure where the other car driven by the man was going.

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