74-year-old Richland County man dead after being hit by driver who tried to flee from police

A 74-year-old Richland County man is dead after being hit by a driver who was trying to flee from police this morning.
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 10:54 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A 74-year-old Richland County man is dead after being hit by a driver who was trying to flee from police this morning.

According to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, 23-year-old Shylek Pringle drove away from deputies during a traffic stop after speeding through a school zone.

Pringle was driving with a suspended license from a previous DUI, and has an extensive criminal history, including multiple drug and weapons charges.

RCSD said he was out on four separate bonds from multiple agencies.

The chase began shortly before 8 A.M. in the 1000 block of Zimalcrest Drive, which is off Broad River Road.

The crash happened not even two miles from there, on Browning Road near Fairhaven Road.

The Richland County Coroner’s Office identified the victim Ernest Kenner of Columbia.

RCSD said Shylek drove into oncoming traffic, hitting Kenner’s Mitsubishi Outlander SUV.

After hitting Kenner’s car, the South Carolina Highway Patrol said Pringle struck a third vehicle. The driver of that car was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

In a statement, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said, “I am extremely frustrated at yet another example of catch and release,” he said. “This innocent man was just going about his day and now he’s gone. I’m tired of talking about this problem. We need to stop talking and do something about it before more innocent people are killed at the hands of individuals who clearly have no regard for the law or human life.”

WIS spoke to the couple who lives right next to where this crash happened. They say cars are always flying up and down that road, and law enforcement should do more to regulate speeding there.

“I just wish he would’ve stopped,” Williams Davis said.

Davis has lived in this neighborhood since he was 13, and has seen several crashes in the area, but nothing like this.

“My heart dropped, literally dropped because like I said I heard a boom,” he said. “I’m thinking it’s on the interstate, it’s not. It’s right there like on my literal doorstep and I just my first response w as to try to help.”

William Davis and his wife Michelle Denise Tucker said they are praying for Kenner’s family.

“It’s Christmastime, they’re not going to be here for loved ones to celebrate New Years and it’s just hurtful,” Tucker said. “My heart is just broken.”

The couple said this crash should serve as a warning for everyone.

“Take your time, don’t be speeding,” Tucker said. “Don’t be in a rush. Leave your house hours, minutes earlier if you think you have to be there on time. Don’t just get up and just hop in your car and think you’re going – no. Because you don’t know. You’re putting other people in danger.”

Davis said this is a reminder that life is too short.

“Slow down,” he said. “We’re moving too fast as a people. We need to slow down and just think about things before we do them.”

RCSD said none of its vehicles were involved in the collision.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the crash, and will decide on charges against Pringle for Kenner’s death.

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