Driver Stopped by Deputy Causes Wreck Shortly After - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/17/05

Driver Stopped by Deputy Causes Wreck Shortly After

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office has launched an internal investigation and has put one deputy on suspension. It all happened after a vehicle accident this morning on the McTeer Bridge between Port Royal and Lady's Island.

Police say 52-year-old Phillip Lewis of St. Helena Island crossed the center line and struck an oncoming tractor-trailer. He was flown to Savannah, where's he in serious condition.

However, just a few minutes before the wreck a sheriff's deputy pulled Lewis over for a traffic stop after getting several reports of him swerving on the road. He was issued a warning for driving left of center and was sent on his way. Then, less than a quarter mile from the traffic stop, police say Lewis caused the accident on the bridge.

"It's a very unfortunate situation that the collision took place and it's a very serious investigation on our part to determine what actions our officer took at the time of the stop," said Sheriff PJ Tanner.

Lewis's blood-alcohol level is being tested. We'll have more on this story coming up on THE News at 11.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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