North Augusta teen killed in weekend police chase

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News 12 at 11, July 1, 2007

NORTH AUGUSTA, SC-- South Carolina Highway Patrol is now investigating a North Augusta police chase and accident that killed one teen, injuring three more.

17 year old Coby Plowden died Friday night when the car he was riding in crashed after trying to run from police.

It's the first time in almost twenty years that North Augusta Department of Public Safety has been involved in a police chase where someone died.

It's a tragedy friends and family are still trying to understand.

A somber mood Sunday night as friends and family gather to remember a life taken too soon.

"You don't need to be drinking and driving. That's what happens if you do." Words spoken by Plowden's older brother, 19-year-old Quinton Harris.

This is the second time this weekend lights have lit up the North Augusta skyline, after a nightmare that began Friday night.

Sirens roared as rescue workers tried to save 4 men lying in the woods near Belvedere Baptist Church's parking lot.

All 4 ejected from the car they were riding in after trying to run from police. Officers say none of the men were wearing seatbelts.
But officers soon realized one ambulance wasn't needed.

17-year-old Coby Plowden was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was near that scene that News 12 spoke with Plowden's friends like 17-year-old Paul Coon. "Coby was always a friend to anybody that needed it."

"It just hurts real bad when you find out that you loose a good friend." adds friend Jared Sawell.

Officers say it was near the North Augusta intersection of Georgia Avenue and Marion Avenue that they first spotted the 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse speeding down Georgia Avenue. Officers say they turned on their blue lights and tried to get it to stop, but it didn't and that's where the chase started.

A few miles away on Highway 25 the car was clocked going 100 miles an hour before hitting a curb in front of Belvedere Baptist Church. It skid hundreds of feet before plowing through the woods and hitting a tree.

Coon has visited the spot everyday since it happened. "See where the tree stopped them? That was one of my closest friends and now he's just gone like that."

Coby was a rear passenger in the car, a car driven by a man his friends and family say he didn't even know.

Plowden's loved ones are leaving him flowers, words, and now lighting candles.

It's his memory they'll cherish, but there's still a thought that will haunt them forever.

"It's real tragic. You don't need to drink and drive. If you do, and get pulled over just stop pull over the car and take what you deserve. Don't keep running." adds Harris.

North Augusta Public Safety says officers saw beer cans thrown from the car during the chase.

They are identifying the driver as 22-year-old William Brandon Taylor from Belvedere. He's facing traffic charges from North Augusta and Felony DUI from South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Funeral arrangements for Plowden are complete. His family will receive visitors Monday night (July 2) at Platt's Funeral home from 7 o'clock at night until 9 o'clock. He will be laid to rest Tuesday (July 3) at 11 am.

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