Sheriff’s Office releases pursuit policy after deadly crash in Spartanburg Co.


SPARTANBURG CO., SC (WSPA) – After a deadly crash following a pursuit involving the Spartanburg County deputies, 7News reached out to the sheriff’s office to find out what their policy is regarding pursuits.

The wreck happened Tuesday night after deputies say Alan Dixon led them on a pursuit that started on Highway 9 in Boiling Springs.

When a deputy tried to stop him for racing and driving recklessly, investigators say Dixon refused to stop and deputies began to chase.

The chase ended when Dixon’s vehicle struck four other vehicles at the intersection of W.O. Ezell Boulevard and Blackstock Road, according to the sheriff’s office.

Thomas Delise, a driver whose car was struck in the crash, was killed.

Sheriff Chuck Wright says his deputies did follow pursuit policy.

7News submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the policy.

In that policy, when it’s being determined to engage in a chase or continue it, both the officer and a field supervisor answer two important questions:

Is the need to immediately arrest the suspect more important than the risk created by the chase?

Do the dangers created by the chase exceed the dangers posed by letting the suspect go?

So first they consider the initial crime. In this case, the sheriff says this driver was wanted for driving recklessly and driving toward a deputy.

For traffic violations, the policy dictates the officer proceed with the chase in low risk situations, proceed with caution in mid risk, and to stop a pursuit if it’s determined to be high risk.

High risk is when the chase is happening in heavy traffic, frequent intersections, or extremely high speeds.

The policy also lays out a general rule of thumb: “If the pursuit would be conducted in heavy traffic, following at a safe distance and a reasonable speed is a more intelligent action than to pursue.”

You can read the entire policy by clicking here.

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