Authorities in Spartanburg County now say that the woman injured in a chase on Interstate 85 Monday is the biological mother of the 7-year-old girl who died from injuries suffered in the ensuing crash. According to a written statement from the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, deputies had initially concluded Errika Dominique Shelton was the aunt of Queniya Shelton, who died Tuesday night. Shortly before the girl’s death, however, investigators learned Erikka Shelton was the child’s biological mother. Deputies said that immediately after the wreck, Errika Shelton’s family and friends told them that she was the child’s aunt, and they were given an incorrect name of the child. Coroner Rusty Clevenger said in a release that because of the hospital adhering to privacy policies and a “lack of cooperation from the child’s mother,” the wrong name and relationship had been reported. Clevenger announced Quenya Shelton was pronounced dead at 7:21 p.m. Tuesday night. Clevenger said his office would be investigating the exact cause of the child’s death. The girl was thrown from an SUV when it crashed in the northbound lane near the 81 mile marker on Monday.
Shelton failed to stop for a traffic violation and led officers on the chase at speeds in excess of 100 mph. Neither Shelton nor her now reported daughter were wearing seat belts and the child was ejected from the vehicle. Investigators believe the little girl was being instructed to throw marijuana out of the vehicle during the chase. Officers recovered about a half a pound of marijuana from the vehicle. Errika Shelton has been hospitalized with broken bones, but is expected to recover.