UPDATE: Officer hospitalized after chase in Williston; suspects still at large

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Friday, July 19, 2013

WILLISTON, S.C. (WRDW) -- The manhunt has been called off for three suspects connected to an overnight car chase in Williston.

Chief Roger Kaney of Williston Police Department says one of his officers attempted to pull over a vehicle for speeding around 2 a.m. Friday, but the driver led that officer and others on a pursuit.

Kaney says as another officer driving in the opposite direction approached, the suspect's vehicle swerved into the other lane and struck that officer's vehicle head on.

As of Friday morning, Kaney says that officer has been released from the hospital and is expected to be fine.

The suspects will be charged with attempted murder of that officer.

"[The suspect] turned into [the officer's] lane. The point of impact was in the officer's lane," Kaney said.

The Williston Police Department also determined that the vehicle the suspects were driving, a blue Lincoln Town Car, was stolen.

The search for the suspects continues. After the collision, Kaney says the suspect's vehicle drove on for 2 miles before crashing into a stump alongside Highway 39 near the intersection of Spur Branch Road. He says three black males ran into the woods.

Barnwell County Sheriff's Office dogs and State Law Enforcement Division dogs were called in to track the suspects Friday morning before the search was called off.

Denise Elkins lives just outside Williston. She was awoken Friday morning by the sound of a SLED helicopter searching around her house for the suspects.

"Well, I got out there and saw the helicopter, so I got out there with the dogs and I started waving because I was unaware that it was something of that nature," Elkins said.

Elkins is slightly worried that the men are still on the run.

"And you think that out in the country out of the town you're so safe out here, but basically, you're safe nowhere," she said.

Even though the manhunt was called off Friday afternoon, the investigation continues. The Williston Police Department feels hopeful that they will find the suspects soon because they found cellphones in the stolen Town Car that they believe belonged to the suspects.

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