Deputies say a convicted felon led them on a chase that started in Beaufort County and ended in neighboring Hyde County. Officials say the driver crashed into another vehicle on a bridge that is under construction.
Troy Beacham, Sr. is facing ten charges in Beaufort County due to the chase, and deputies say more charges are expected.
The 44-year-old man was treated and released from Beaufort County Medical Center and then placed in the county jail on a $25,000 bond.
Beacham was charged by deputies with felony flee to elude arrest, driving while impaired, no operators license, reckless driving, no insurance, fictitious tags, open container in passenger area, resist a public officer, driving left of center, and failure to stop at a stoplight.
Department of Correction records show Beacham has a criminal record, including convictions for involuntary manslaughter and assault on a policeman. He spent 14 years in prison and was released in 1996.
Officials say Beacham ran after wrecking a van on Highway 264 and Braddy Road in Beaufort County. When a sheriff's deputy pulled up to assist, officials say the van sped away.
The van went down Highway 264 into neighboring Hyde County. During the chase several vehicles were forced off the highway.
Witnesses say he was driving 50-60 mph. The van wrecked about seven miles past the county line, officials say, at the Walter B Jones Bridge just east of Ponzer.
Because of construction on the bridge, a traffic signal allows only one lane to pass at a time. Witnesses say Beacham ran the red signal and hit another van coming the other direction.
Sheriff's Captain Kenneth Watson says after the crash Beacham tried to jump off the bridge, but deputies tasered him and kept him from jumping.
Trooper Chris White says Esther Clark was in the other van heading west. Her two young grandchildren were secured in car seats and picked up by a relative. The 63-year-old Scranton woman was taken to the hospital with a neck injury, according to White.
The trooper says the two vans didn't hit directly head-on, but struck headlight to headlight.
In the Braddy Road accident the Highway Patrol has charged Beacham with no operators' license, fictitious tags, driving with consuming alcohol, open container, seat belt violation and exceeding the speed limit.
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