Woman hoarding fuel catches fire after brief chase, car crash in SC, deputies say

PICKENS COUNTY, S.C. — A 28-year-old woman suffered burns Thursday after crashing a car in which she was hoarding fuel while attempting to avoid a traffic stop in South Carolina, according to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.

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A deputy attempted to stop the woman, identified by deputies as Jessica Gale Patterson, after noticing that she was driving a 2007 Pontiac G6 with a South Carolina license plate that had been reported stolen, authorities said.

When the deputy turned on the lights of his marked patrol car near the intersection of Jameson Road and Wolf Creek Road, authorities said Patterson turned onto Wolf Creek Road and sped up “in an attempt to elude law enforcement.”

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A short while later, before the deputy could finish telling the department’s communications center about the issue, Patterson lost control of the Pontiac, officials said. The car veered off the roadway and flipped before immediately catching fire. Deputies said that “multiple explosions were heard inside the vehicle.”

As the deputy who tried to stop Patterson approached the car, authorities said the 28-year-old got out of the vehicle while on fire. The deputy pushed her to the ground to put out the flames, and she was taken to a hospital for treatment, officials said.

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Authorities did not immediately say how extensive her injuries were.

“Before leaving the scene, Ms. Patterson told deputies that she was transporting several containers of fuel that she was hoarding in the trunk of the vehicle,” deputies said. “These containers of fuel were the catalyst of the explosions.”

Authorities continue to investigate.