SC teen steals school bus, hospitalized after crashing into building during police chase www.privateofficer.com
ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC May 31 2012 - A teenager is in the hospital after crashing a school bus into a building during a police chase across two counties early Tuesday morning.
According to Calhoun County Sheriff Thomas Summers, deputies noticed a school bus from Orangeburg Preparatory Schools, Inc. traveling on Highway 21 near Murph Mill Rd. around 2:30 a.m.
Because school buses aren’t normally on the roads at that hour, deputies attempted to pull it over to investigate. The bus didn’t stop and sped away as deputies began pursuit.
The sheriff said the driver was driving erratically and into opposite lanes while deputies followed. The bus made its way into Orangeburg County and onto the campus of South Carolina State University.
As the pursuit continued, the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, and Orangeburg Department of Public Safety joined Calhoun County deputies.
After knocking over several iron gates and fences on campus, the driver of the bus lost control while trying to make a turn and slammed into the Zeus Industrial Products building on Mill St.
As deputies approached the mangled bus and looked through the dust and debris, they found a 15-year-old boy trapped inside. They spotted another person running away from the scene, but were unable to catch him.
The boy who was trapped in the bus was eventually extricated and taken by helicopter to Palmetto Health Richland Hospital where he had to have one foot removed.
Calhoun Co. deputies are questioning the injured juvenile, but no charges have been filed. Summers said investigators are still trying to determine who was driving the bus and the identity of the individual who fled the scene.
“It was extremely dangerous they stole the school bus,” Summers said. “You have to remember that. They made a conscious decision to not stop for law enforcement, and that was the end result.”
After the crash, Orangeburg deputies found another bus that had been damaged at Orangeburg Preparatory School. According to an incident report, a fire extinguisher has been discharged inside that bus.