EASLEY, SC (WSPA)- A driver faces felony DUI and other charges after a chase and crash killed a man near Easley.
According to the S.C. Highway Patrol, the wreck happened on US 123 around 11:30 p.m. Thursday. Troopers say Nicholas Keith Blackstock, 29, of Greenville, crossed the center line and hit a Nissan head on as he fled police.
The driver was trapped inside the vehicle and died.
The coroner identified the victim as 59-year-old Steven Louis Richardson of Easley. Richardson died at the scene from blunt force trauma, according to the coroner.
Blackstock was not injured in the crash.
Liberty police say officers tried to stop Blackstock for a motor vehicle violation. A statement from the chief says that officers had information from a neighboring jurisdiction that Blackstock could have illegal drugs. According to police, Blackstock wouldn’t stop and tried to elude officers, crossing into oncoming traffic on Highway 123.
Blackstock was booked into the Pickens County Detention Center early Friday. The Highway Patrol charged him with felony DUI and driving under suspension, second offense.
Liberty Police Department also plans to charge Blackstock with failure to stop for blue lights resulting in death, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, numerous traffic violations and other drug crimes.
A judge denied bond for Blackstock on Friday.
Blackstock is no stranger to the law.
A records check shows arrests going back more than 10 years – the first in January 2006. According to a SLED check, he was charged with 20 offenses last year, including larceny, criminal conspiracy, first-degree burglary and possession of hypodermic needles and syringes.
As Blackstock was leaving court, he turned to the victim’s family and said “I’m sorry, deeply sorry.”