SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A police chase early Monday morning led to an injured driver and destroyed business in Spartanburg.
The Bishops began their Monday at 2 a.m. with a horrifying phone call from a Duncan Police Department officer, telling owner Richard Bishop that his 75-year-old business, located on South Church Street Extension, had been destroyed.
Bishop and his wife, Michelle, said they were shocked and heartbroken.
“We’re devastated because this is our livelihood. We have people that depend on us, and now it’s destroyed. 75 years of hard work gone, and it’s heartbreaking,” Michelle Bishop said.
According to the Duncan Police Department, it all started when officers noticed a grey minivan swerving in the roadway.
Police said the driver was under the influence of alcohol and refused to stop for their blue lights, which led officers to pursue the vehicle for about 15 miles outside of their jurisdiction.
As the chase went on, police said the driver plowed through trees in the road way before slamming into Bishop’s body shop, destroying a large portion of the building.
Jerry Bishop’s Body Shop is a small, family owned business in Spartanburg that employs three people, who are now temporarily without work until the shop can rebuild.
The Bishops said they were thankful this happened at night when the shop was closed because things may have been worse. The area that was hit was where their employees work and eat lunch.
“If it had happened during the day, it would have been tragic because it would have been a worse outcome. They could have been killed,” Michelle Bishop said.
Despite the situation, the Bishops said they will move forward and hope for answers about this police chase.
“I just wish the police would quit chasing those cars. The chase is not worth the catch I don’t think,” Richard said.
The driver of the minivan was taken to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center for their injuries. A female passenger received minor injuries during the crash.
We’ll update this story with any new information.