Two North Augusta brothers were killed after leading authorities on a high-speed car chase that began in Augusta and ended when the vehicle struck a tree in North Augusta, according to police.
Derrick Darden, 23, and his brother, Deante Darden, 22, both of North Augusta, were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash about 2 a.m. on Wednesday on Carolina Springs Road, according to Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton.
According to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy attempted to stop the car the brothers were in when he observed them speeding on Broad Street in Augusta.
The deputy attempted to catch up to the vehicle and observed the car driving erratically, police said. The vehicle, a 2007 Chevrolet Impala, initially pulled over at the corner of 4th and Reynolds streets in Augusta, and, as the deputy exited his patrol cruiser and approached the Impala, the brothers took off at a high rate of speed, police said.
The vehicle traveled into South Carolina on the Gordon Highway Bridge at speeds in excess of 100 mph, police said. The vehicle took the Martintown Road exit and traveled on several other roads before it went off the roadway and struck a tree at 515 Carolina Springs Road, police said.
Neither man was wearing a seat belt and both died from multiple body trauma, Carlton said. An autopsy for Derrick Darden, who was the driver, is scheduled for today in Newberry, and toxicology is pending, Carlton said.
The officer involved in the chase, Deputy Bert Gates, is a 22-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office and is currently assigned to the office’s DUI Task Force.