Off-roading vehicle sparks grass blaze
A fire that burned several acres of grass in New Ellenton on Thursday reportedly started after a teenager got his vehicle stuck while off-roading, according to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident happened about 6:20 p.m. on Chime Bell Church Road, according to the report. The 18-year-old driver took his 1983 Nissan VX off-roading on another person’s property.
The teenager told officers he had seen a dirt trail leading onto the property and didn’t know where it went, so he decided to “try it out,” according to the report.
As the teen drove through the grass field, the vehicle got stuck, “and the heat from him trying to force his way out ignited the grass around him,” the report stated. The driver fled the vehicle as the flames consumed it and set the field ablaze.
New Ellenton fire crews responded and extinguished the blaze after it “engulfed” several acres of grass, according to the report.
The owner of the property told officers he had “come to a resolution” with the teenage driver and the driver’s father concerning the removal of the “melted” vehicle, as well as possible reimbursement for the damage to the field, according to the report. The owner did not wish to pursue charges.
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime beat for the Aiken Standard. He is a graduate of Clemson University and hails from Williston.