SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) - The Spartanburg County coroner has identified a woman killed in a crash on Blackstock Road Wednesday afternoon. The victim worked as a teacher.
The wreck happened near the intersection of Arbours West Lane around 4 p.m.
According to the sheriff's office, a deputy witnessed the driver of a black Cadillac turning from Reidville Road onto E. Blackstock Road with a loud exhaust and squealing tires. Deputies activated their lights and sirens and began to pursue the suspect who they say accelerated, started weaving in and out of traffic, passing cars in the median.
The sheriff's office said taking into consideration the suspect’s reckless driving and excessive speed, the time of day, the heavy traffic in that area, and the approaching school zone, deputies terminated the attempted traffic stop in the vicinity of Paradise Lanes. Similarly, a trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol also abandoned pursuit after speaking with the deputy.
A short time later as they approached Bradford Drive, deputies and troopers discovered the black Cadillac had been in a violent collision with another vehicle and attempted to render aid to the victim, while also detaining the suspect.
On Thursday, Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger identified the victim as 36-year-old, Jessica Ruth Munyon, of Vista Drive in Moore, SC. The coroner's office says Munyon died on scene.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division announced the arrest of a suspect on Thursday in connection with the death of Jessica Munyon.
According to a release from SLED, 28-year-old Andres Antonio Barron of Spartanburg County is charged with:
• Reckless Homicide
• Failure To Stop For Blue Lights Resulting In Death
• Driving Under Suspension, 1st Offense
• Failure To Return Driver’s License After Notice Of Suspension
• Operating Vehicle Which Is Not Registered And Licensed
• Use Of License Plate Other Than For Vehicle Which Issued
SLED says that Barron is now in custody at the Spartanburg County Detention Center.
Munyon was a teacher at the South Carolina Whitmore School, a fully accredited virtual high school.
The school released this statement on Munyon's passing:
South Carolina Whitmore School is devastated to learn of the recent passing of our beloved teacher, Jessica Munyon. Jessica joined the school in 2016 and had an incredible impact on the lives of students across South Carolina. Jessica faithfully not only served as a teacher but as a department chair and advisor for ArtMore, an online digital literary and art magazine. She will truly be missed by the entire SC Whitmore School family. Our deepest condolences are with the Munyon family during this difficult time.
- SCWS Leadership
Munyon's family later told us more about her, describing her as an amazing mom and aunt who was dedicated to her loved ones. She loved art and was talented at painting, pottery, and drawing. She also enjoyed horseback riding and had a passion for animals, especially the several rescue animals she owned during her life. Her family also said "She would go to the ends of the earth to help anyone and was the most reliable and responsible person. She lived her life so carefully."
Munyon leaves behind a six-year-old daughter as well.
Due to both the South Carolina Highway Patrol and Spartanburg County deputies calling off a pursuit for the previously mentioned reasons, agents from SLED and investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff's Office are investigating the crash.
The coroner's office confirmed on Wednesday, Feb. 17 that the manner of Munyon's death was deemed a homicide. The office could not elaborate further.
During a bond hearing on Friday, Feb. 19, we got a chance to hear from Munyon's husband, who said he faced immense grief after losing his wife:
The solicitor, Barry Barnette, said during the bond hearing that data pulled from Barron's car showed he was driving approximately 109 mph just seconds before the crash, and was going 85 mph when the crash occurred.
Barron's bond was deferred to a circuit court judge.