Chase, crash claims prison guard

By DEUCE NIVEN

    After fleeing from a parking lot collision, then the South Carolina Highway Patrol, a North Carolina prison employee from Tabor City died Sunday night when his truck slammed into a power pole near Longs, investigators said Monday.
    Casey James Blackwell, 32, died after being thrown from his 1990 Toyota SUV at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday on SC 905 between Sarvis Farm Road and Bear Branch Court, several miles south of the North Carolina border, a report by Horry County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Benton said.
    Blackwell was ejected from the vehicle as it struck the power pole and overturned into a ditch, the report said. “Massive head trauma” killed Blackwell, Horry County Coroner Robert Edge Jr. said.
    Troopers were looking for Blackwell after a motorist reported a hit-and-run involving his Toyota in the parking lot of a Little River restaurant, said South Carolina Highway Patrol Cpl. Sonny Collins.
    Blackwell had been employed as a Correctional Officer at Tabor Correctional Institution since 2005, a North Carolina Department of Public Safety spokesman said.
    Blackwell’s obituary may be found here.
    Look for more on this story in Wednesday’s Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.

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