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St. Matthews police chief dies after car hits tree

Mar 20, 2011 11:08:00 PM - thestate.com
Officials are trying to learn why Capers Wannamaker, 60, longtime St. Matthews police chief, died in a single-vehicle wreck early Saturday afternoon about one mile south of the town on Burke Road.

Wannamaker’s 2006 Chevrolet SUV crashed into several trees about 1 p.m., and he died at the scene of a cervical spine fracture, said Calhoun County Coroner Donnie Porth. He was not wearing a seat belt.

Wannamaker’s SUV went off the right side of the road, then came back and ran off the left side of the road, striking a tree, said Lance Cpl Judd Jones of the S.C. Highway Patrol.

The possible reasons why Wannamaker apparently lost control of his SUV range from cellphone use to a heart irregularity that could have caused him to black out, Porth said. Calhoun County borders Richland County to the south.

“We’re looking at all the possibilities,” he said.

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