LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. — A driver trying to elude a traffic stop caused an early morning high-speed chase in Lexington County that didn't end even when the driver crashed into a home on Piney Grove Road.
According to the Lexington County Sheriff's Department incident report, at around 12 a.m. Thursday, a deputy on patrol in a marked vehicle attempted to make a traffic stop near Columbia after almost being hit by a car at the intersection of Piney Grove and Broken Hill roads.
The suspect vehicle, a blue Ford Fusion, had run the stop sign at the intersection, then slowed and initially used the left turn signal before continuing along Piney Grove.
The deputy made a U-turn and attempted to pull over the Ford on the shoulder of the road. While moving to the shoulder, the Ford struck two trash cans, knocking them over. The driver of the Ford then pulled back onto Piney Grove and sped away at high speed.
The deputy followed as the Ford continued along Piney Grove past Jamil Road, then over I-26 and past Fernandina Road. At this point, the chase entered Richland County, going through the roundabout at Piney Grove and Piney Woods roads and continuing until the driver lost control of the vehicle in the 900 block of Piney Grove Road.
As the suspect lost control, he left the roadway, striking a mailbox, trash cans, and two cars before colliding and causing severe damage to a home. The driver then escaped the damaged vehicle and took off on foot.
The Lexington County deputy made contact with the residents of the home -- one of whom was sleeping in a front bedroom at the time of the incident. Emergency first responders were then called to the scene and one person was taken to Prisma Health Richland with minor injuries.
Meanwhile, the search for the suspect continued with the assistance of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the K-9 unit and Richland County deputies.
The driver, later identified as Venson Outen, 37, was located a short distance away from the accident scene in the crawlspace of another residence. He was placed under arrest and taken to Lexington Medical Center for a large gash to his head.
An open container was found in the passenger floorboard of the Ford.
Venson was charged with driving under suspension (DUS) second offense, failure to stop for blue lights second offense, open container, and DUI pending blood draw.