Two Pedestrians Struck During Police Chase on Rankin Ave. in Gastonia, North Carolina
GASTONIA, NC. – According to an online news report posted at wsoctv.com, two pedestrians were struck by a vehicle during a police chase that occurred on Rankin Avenue in Gastonia, North Carolina. One of the pedestrians was tragically killed in the accident, and the other sustained serious injuries, according to the news report.*
The incident occurred during the evening in a neighborhood in Gastonia. Authorities and WSOC report that at approximately 7:30 p.m., a deputy with the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office observed a vehicle traveling erratically and attempted to stop the driver of that vehicle. The deputy reportedly suspected the driver might have been driving erratically because he was impaired. However, when the deputy attempted to make the stop, the driver fled from the deputy.
A chase followed, lasting about 30 seconds down Rankin Avenue, according to the report. Authorities say the suspect ended up striking two pedestrians with his car during the course of the chase and then somehow crashed his vehicle. The suspect then reportedly exited the vehicle and tried to leave the scene on foot. The suspect was apprehended and taken into custody. He is described as a male, but his age and city of residence were not reported.
WSOC reports that one of the pedestrians, a 28-year-old resident of Georgia, was tragically killed in the collision. WSOC further reports the other pedestrian, identified as a 48-year-old male, sustained serious injuries and is said to be in critical condition.
WSOC says the driver has been charged with second-degree murder, driving while intoxicated, and fleeing. North Carolina State Highway Patrol is reportedly investigating the accident and looking into conflicting witness accounts. Some witnesses at the scene said they believed the deputy hit the pedestrians, not the suspect driver. Troopers said there was no initial evidence to suggest the deputy hit the pedestrians.
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