2 Police chases end with crashes

Two people have been arrested after leading local law-enforcement officers on car chases over the past week, the first of which ending in a crash that damaged Clinton First Baptist Church.

Clinton Public Safety Officers arrested Felicia Nicole Williams, 33, after she allegedly evaded a traffic checkpoint on Willard Road on Wednesday, Feb. 28.

According to the report filed by Clinton Public Safety Officer Amanda Carter, after evading the traffic checkpoint, Williams sped down Broad Street in Clinton, losing control and striking a tree in front of Wells Fargo Bank. The vehicle then rolled over three times and crashed into the First Baptist Church at the intersection of South Broad and East Centennial streets, the report said.

Williams, who allegedly left the scene of the accident on foot, left her belongings and identification in the vehicle and was later arrested at her apartment. She was cited for hit-and-run with property damage, driving under suspension, driving too fast for conditions and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

Just before 1 a.m. Sunday, a Laurens man led Laurens Police on a high-speed chase that covered 3.1 miles and ended with a single-vehicle crash at the intersection of Edgewood Drive and Chestnut Street Extension in Laurens.

According to a Laurens Police report, Joshua Montai Emmanuel McGowen, 20, was driving a sport-utility vehicle when he was spotted by LPD Lt. Charles Simmons traveling 48 m.p.h. in a 35 m.p.h. zone.

Minutes later, a police pursuit ensued with Simmons and other LPD officers following the vehicle. According to Simmons’ report, speeds along Chestnut Street reached 87 m.p.h.

The report said McGowen lost control of the vehicle and crashed head on into a large tree at the Chestnut-Edgewood intersection.

McGowen was extricated from the vehicle by EMS personnel and airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital where he remained Tuesday afternoon.

McGowen was cited for failure to stop for a blue light, speeding and no tag lamp.

Other charges are pending, according to LPD Maj. Chrissie Cofield.

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