February 7, 2016

14-year-old killed in crash during Westminster police chase

A 14-year-old was killed after his car flipped during a police chase early Friday morning, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

The Oconee County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Jesse Hannah. Coroner Karl Addis said Hannah died from multiple trauma. He was pronounced dead at Oconee Medical Center in Seneca.

The wreck occurred around 3:35 a.m. on Highway 24 about five miles southeast of Westminster, troopers said. WYFF reports a Westminster Police officer saw the 1999 Mercury run a red light at Highway 123 and Highway 183 and almost crash into another vehicle. Police Chief Dean Awalt said the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver continued on Highway 24, reaching speeds up to 90 mph at some point during the chase.

Finally, the car ran off the side of the road and overturned about 1.5 miles past West Oak High School. Troopers said three teens inside the car were ejected. Besides Hannah, two 16-year-old boys were also taken to the hospital. Another 14-year-old passenger was not hurt. The Westminster Police Department and the Highway Patrol are investigating the incident.

Hannah was a freshman at West Oak High School.

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