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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies in cooperation with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina Highway Patrol and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division arrested a 39-year-old Columbia man on Wednesday, September 25 on charges that a motor vehicle that the man was driving collided with the rear of a marked patrol car that was driven by a state Highway Patrol trooper in an eastbound lane on Interstate 26 near mile marker 117 in Lexington County. The man and the trooper were not seriously injured in the collision.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said deputies with the Sheriff’s Department Traffic Division arrested Bryan Carroll Biggart, 39, of 1208 Bush River Road, Unit P-7, Columbia, on charges of committing a hit-and-run motor vehicle collision that involved personal injury, reckless driving, failing to render aid to a victim in a motor vehicle collision and third-offense driving a motor vehicle with a South Carolina driver’s license that had been suspended. Biggart was being held on Wednesday at the Lexington County Detention Center.

Biggart is scheduled to appear in court at 3 p.m. on Wednesday for a bond hearing, Metts said. The bond hearing will be conducted at a courtroom that is adjacent to the front entrance of the county Detention Center at the Lexington County James R. Metts Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Lexington.

At about 2:15 a.m. on Wednesday, a red 2008 Saturn Vue sport-utility vehicle that Biggart was driving in an eastbound lane on I-26 collided with the rear of a silver 2008 Ford Crown Victoria marked patrol car that Trooper Erskine Abraham Reed, 57, of Orangeburg, was driving in an eastbound lane on I-26, Metts said. The circumstances of the collision remain under investigation by deputies with the Sheriff’s Department Traffic Division.

Deputies determined that Biggart was driving the Saturn Vue in such a manner that he showed a willful disregard for other motorists, driving at a speed that was in excess of 99 mph at the time of the collision, Metts said. The speed limit on the section of I-26 where the collision occurred is 70 mph.

Deputies further determined that Biggart failed to give information or render aid to Reed following the collision with Reed’s marked patrol car, Metts said. In addition, deputies determined that Biggart continued to drive the Saturn Vue for about five miles to a rest area near mile marker 122 in Calhoun County even though the vehicle’s five air bags had deployed and the vehicle had major damage on the front passenger’s side of the vehicle.

At about 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Biggart made a telephone call to his mother, Metts said. During the telephone call, Biggart told his mother that he had been involved in a collision in the Saturn Vue, which is registered to Biggart’s stepfather, and said that he was not going back to jail right before he ended the phone call. Biggart has a significant criminal history, including prior arrests for robbery and kidnapping.

Following the collision with Reed’s marked patrol car, Biggart drove the Saturn Vue in an eastbound lane on I-26 to the rest area, Metts said. Biggart parked the Saturn Vue in the rest area’s parking lot and ran away from the vehicle.

Deputies conducted a manhunt for Biggart with assistance from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit, bloodhounds and deputies with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, state Highway Patrol troopers and a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division helicopter, Metts said. Officers detained Biggart at the rest area at about 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday and placed Biggart in the custody of Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies, who arrested Biggart.

Deputies found Reed’s heavily damaged marked patrol car on the right shoulder of the eastbound lanes of I-26, Metts said. Reed received medical treatment for his injuries at an area hospital on Wednesday morning and was released from the hospital on Wednesday. Questions concerning Reed’s injuries and status as a state trooper should be addressed to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

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