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S.C. deputy has fatal heart attack during pursuit



Officer Down: Deputy Sheriff Darral Lane

 

By Associated Press

 

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A sheriff's deputy collapsed and died from a heart attack after a car chase early Friday near downtown Columbia and authorities were searching for the driver who fled.

 

An autopsy showed that Deputy Darral Lane, 41, died from a heart attack, Sheriff Leon Lott said. Lane had wrestled the two passengers in the car to the ground and got one into handcuffs.

 

"You see him stand up and grab a hold of his thigh. He falls to his knees and then he falls to the ground," Lott said.

 

The two passengers, who were picked up by other deputies, will not be charged in the case, Lott said. The driver, 34-year-old

 

Matthew Denny Hooks, was still being sought by deputies Friday afternoon. He has been charged with failing to stop for a blue light.

 

Lane was a retired Army veteran, who apparently had a heart condition that he may have been unaware of, Lott said.

 

Lane stopped Hooks' Acura after noticing some suspicious activity at a convenience store about 5:30 a.m. near Interstate 20, sheriff's Lt. Chris Cowan said.

 

The car sped off, stopping behind a house after about two miles.

 

Three people jumped out of the car and the driver fled into a nearby wooded area as the deputy tried to apprehend the other two men, he said.

 

The man initially put in handcuffs attempted to help the deputy after he collapsed, Lott said. The people who lived in the home where the car stopped called 911 after seeing the lights.

 

Cowan said the tags on Hooks' Acura appeared to belong to a vehicle stolen from Lexington County, but Lott said there was no

evidence of any crime at the convenience store before the traffic stop.

 

Columbia police and the South Carolina Highway Patrol were assisting in the search of an area of roughly two square miles.

 

The name of the officer who died was not immediately released. Sheriff Leon Lott planned to hold a news conference later Friday, Cowan said.

 

Columbia police and the South Carolina Highway Patrol were assisting in the search of an area of roughly two square miles.

 

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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