A Laurens County man and woman face several charges following a car chase early Tuesday morning that began in Laurens County and culminated with a Highway Patrol trooper making a forcible stop 13 miles later in Fountain Inn.
Ashley Smith, 26, of 3342 Warrior Creek Church Road, Gray Court, and Mitchell Lyons, 28, of 117 Garlington St., Laurens, were booked at the Laurens County Detention Center following the pursuit.
According to reports from the South Carolina Highway Patrol, both suspects were charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a schedule II drug, possession of a schedule IV drug, violation of ABC laws and no seat belt in connection with the incident. Additionally, Smith faces counts of driving under the influence, driving under suspension (fourth offense) and failure to stop for a blue light. Lyon faces an added count of public intoxication.
According to SCHP Cpl. Bill Rhyne, a trooper spotted the suspects riding in a gray 1996 Buick Regal with a broken tail light just after 6 a.m. Tuesday at the 10-mile marker along Interstate 385. The trooper attempted to stop the vehicle, which was being driven by the female suspect, setting off the chase. At some point during the pursuit, the trooper radioed dispatchers notifying them the vehicle was not stopping, and he continued to trail the car until it attempted to exit the expressway at exit 24 near Fairview Street in Fountain Inn.
That is when the officer made a forcible stop on the fleeing vehicle, Rhyne said. The stop came at 6:15 a.m., about eight minutes after the chase began.
The two suspects, who were passengers in the car at the time, were taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital to be treated for injuries, he noted.