Driver dead after hitting a tree during police chase, SC Highway Patrol says

One person died following a police chase in Sumter County on Friday night, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Just before midnight, a 2017 Nissan Ultima was driving north on U.S. Route 15 while trying to evade police, Lance Cpl. Brittany Glover said. The driver ran off the road and a hit a tree. Officials did not say why police were chasing him.

Sumter County Coroner Robbie Baker identified the driver as Christopher Eaddy, 37, of Sumter. Eaddy was pronounced dead from his injuries at the scene.

An autopsy will be performed at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston on Tuesday.

The S.C. Highway Patrol and the Sumter County Coroner’s Office are still investigating the incident.

As of Saturday, 26 people have died on South Carolina roads in 2024, according to the S.C. Department of Public Safety. In 2023, 999 people died in traffic accidents in the state.