Local Update - February 7, 2007

Woman escapes rollover crash with minor injuries

One woman is recovering from minor injuries after her Jeep rolled over in Aiken County.

It happened around 2:30 on Highway 302 near Beaver Creek Lane.

The Jeep Wrangler is pretty banged up.

Aiken Public Safety and the South Carolina Highway Patrol are looking into the cause of the accident.

Former Aiken EMT trainer dies in crash

36-year-old Al Gunter was killed in an accident in Aiken County yesterday afternoon.

It happened around 2 o'clock on Highway 78, about eight miles east of Aiken.

Gunter was not wearing a seatbelt when his truck veered off the road, hit several trees, rolled onto its side, and then caught fire.

Gunter was a former Aiken EMT trainer.

He was known to have some medical issues that may have contributed to the crash. No word on what those were.

Glenn Hills High student charged with rape

A Glenn Hills High student is behind bars, suspected of raping a woman in a department store's bathroom.

Deputies arrested 17-year-old Michael Whitmore around 8 o'clock yesterday morning.

Whitmore now faces charges of rape, kidnapping, and aggravated sodomy.

He's accused of raping a woman at gunpoint in the bathroom at Goody's, in the middle of the day.

The incident report says the suspect ordered the woman into the stall with a gun and forced her to have sex.

The sheriff's office got a tip from someone who saw the surveillance pictures on the news.

Whitmore is also charged with armed robbery. Investigators say he robbed the Wal-Mart on Deans Bridge on January 11. That store is right across the street from Goody's.

Answers expected in inmate's death

Autopsy results from a Burke County inmate's death are expected back today.

The Burke County Sheriff's Office tells us Ezumer Palmer was found dead in his jail cell Monday morning (February 5).

Authorities believe Palmer committed suicide.

He was booked into the jail last Thursday.

Capt. Wayne Scott says Palmer was never put on "suicide watch" because he never showed any warning signs of depression.

GBI investigators tell News 12 they have no indication so far that this case is anything other than a suicide, but they're not ruling out other possibilities.

Hyde Park residents want proof of contamination

Some homeowners in Hyde Park say they're not budging, and community activist Woody Merry is backing them up.

At a press conference yesterday, the homeowners said they need more proof that the land is contaminated, and if there is no proof, they want the city to leave them alone.