GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA)- A family is looking for answers after their loved one was killed when he was a passenger in a car that crashed running from law enforcement.
Michael Mansell, 30, was killed in a car crash on his way home from work Monday.
Family members are devastated. They say they want to know more about what happened and want a law that prohibits law enforcement officers from chasing cars for failing to stop for traffic violations.
“It’s just so sudden,” said Mansell’s aunt, Tina Green. “He was the sweetest boy, man you could ever meet.”
Mansell leaves behind three young children.
“For my grandbaby to have to sit there, hear that you know his dad passed away, is a real hard thing for someone to have to take,” said Mansell’s stepfather, Akeyevar Irving.
According to South Carolina Highway Patrol, a trooper was trying to stop a car for speeding on White Horse Road near I-85. The car fled, continued north, exiting onto I-85 northbound, and the driver lost control of the car, hitting a concrete barrier, and falling into a ravine. Mansell was a passenger.
“It’s so senseless,” Green said. “He was just trying to get home.”
The driver, Kent Eric Washington, 29, was charged with felony DUI, failing to stop for blue lights and sirens resulting in death, driving under suspension, and failure to appear.
Upstate activist Bruce Wilson is calling for legislation requiring all law enforcement agencies across the state to stop chasing cars for traffic violations.
Mansell’s family members said they don’t want anyone else to go through what they’ve been through.
“We just need to stop these senseless chases over these small petty traffic violations because in the end, anybody could’ve gotten hurt,” Green said.
The family is also asking to see the dash camera video from the incident. According to Trooper Joe Hovis with South Carolina Highway Patrol, the video should be able to be released under the Freedom of Information Act. 7 News has requested the footage as well as the agency’s pursuit policy.