(WSPA) – 7 News has learned that a South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper was terminated last month for alleged misconduct following a deadly crash prompted by a chase he was in with an other vehicle in Greenville County.
We reported earlier that Trooper Austyn Vaughn was trying to pull over a Ford Focus for speeding on July 8 and a chase occurred.
Dash camera video of the chase shows the Focus rolling over the side of the ravine at the Augusta Road exit on Interstate 85 northbound.
A passenger in the vehicle, Michael Mansell, 30, died at the scene.
The dash camera video showed Vaughn chasing the car with lights on for a little more than a minute. On the radio, Vaughn’s supervisor asked him “Were you 10-0?,” which is code for an active pursuit. “I never heard any kind of radio traffic in reference to that.”
Vaughn responded saying, “Negative I was trying to catch up.”
On Wednesday, 7 News obtained the notification of separation due to misconduct documentation from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, which revealed that Vaughn’s date of separation from highway patrol was Sept. 25.
In a description of the alleged misconduct from the Criminal Justice Academy, Vaughn’s supervisor went to the scene and asked Vaughn to stop his in-car video so that he could review the events leading up to the crash. After reviewing the video, Vaughn admitted that he was involved in a chase with the vehicle before the crash.
In the documentation from the Criminal Justice Academy, officials said Vaughn “willfully making false, misleading, incomplete, deceitful, or incorrect statement to a law enforcement officer, a law enforcement agency, or a representative of the agency, except when required by departmental policy or by the law of this State.”
The driver of the Focus, identified as 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.