Three Columbia men were killed Friday night after fleeing a traffic stop and later hitting a tree, Columbia police announced this morning.
Stanley Gilmore, 30, and Everett Washington, 55, both of Tree Street, and James Watson, 47, of Stark Street all died of multiple trauma at the accident scene, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said today.
A Columbia police officer stopped the late-model Mercury Grand Marquis around 10:15 p.m., after the car allegedly ran a stop sign at Live Oak Street and S. Kilbourne Road in the Rosewood neighborhood, according to police reports.
As the officer was conducting the traffic stop, the vehicle drove off, heading onto S. Prospect Street, according to reports. The officer drove to S. Prospect, where a witness reported seeing the car traveling at a high rate of speed toward Riviera Road.
Shortly after back-up units arrived and headed in that direction, the crash scene was found, in the 3700 block of Riviera Road, police said.