Spartanburg County deputies released dashcam video Thursday of a chase on Interstate 85 earlier this week that ended with a child being thrown from the pursued vehicle when it crashed.
The crash happened on I-85 in Spartanburg County, near mile marker 81 on the northbound side, about 9:20 a.m.
Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said a deputy, who was working during Operation Rolling Thunder, was trying to stop the vehicle when the driver fled at speeds of more than 100 mph.
Wright said the driver then had the 7-year-old girl unbuckle, open up a container full of marijuana and throw it out the window, just before. He said at least half a pound of marijuana was found scattered around the crash site.
Wright said the deputy did not know a child was in the car, and was very shaken up by the incident. He said dashcam video showed that the deputy stayed far behind the vehicle and that he followed protocol.
"We are the police," Wright said. "We chase bad guys. We are not at fault in this wreck. Had we known the child was in the car, we would've certainly done things differently."
The driver of the vehicle, identified as 26-year-old Erika Shelton, suffered broken bones in the crash. Shelton's daughter, identified as Queniya Shelton, was taken to the hospital, where she later died.
On Wednesday, Shelton's family criticized the sheriff's office decision to chase the vehicle while a child was inside.
"They say my grandbaby was throwing stuff out (of) the car," said Trena Rice, Erika Shelton's mother. "If they can say that, (then) they knew she was in the car."
Erika Shelton was charged with failure to stop for a blue light involving death, unlawful neglect of a child, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, driving under suspension, reckless driving and being a habitual traffic offender.
Funeral arrangements for Queniya Shelton announced
Visitation for Queniya Shelton will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at J.W. Woodward Funeral Home in Spartanburg. Her funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at Mount Moriah Baptist Church on South Church Street in Spartanburg.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, August 29 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:57:37 GMT
(Source: Roland Cooper State Park-Alabama/Facebook)
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