(GREENVILLE)- At approximately 11:11 p.m. last night, Greenville Police Department (GPD) officers were dispatched to a local restaurant after reports that an individual brandished a weapon and threatened a bartender with it. As GPD officers were responding, the suspect and another passenger fled the scene and headed northbound on I-385. A brief pursuit ensued. As the suspect attempted to exit off the N. Pleasantburg Drive on-ramp, she lost control of her vehicle and collided into a concrete barrier, which resulted in critical injuries for herself and serious injuries for her passenger.
A GPD officer lost control of his police cruiser off the on-ramp and struck a small tree causing minor damage to his patrol vehicle and resulting in minor soreness.
The driver, Gwendolyn Robinson, 30, of the 200 block of Fork Shoals Road in Greenville County, was admitted to an area medical facility. Her condition has not been updated since the collision. A passenger in the car with Robinson, believed to be her sister, was transported to the hospital with what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries.
Upon recovery, Robinson is expected to be charged with Pointing and Presenting a Firearm, Unlawful Carry of a Firearm, Felony DUI with Great Bodily Injury, Failure to Stop for Police with Great Bodily Injury, and Driving Under Suspension. These charges will be initiated by the GPD and the South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP), whose Troopers are investigating the collision as a matter of law in such collisions involving police pursuits.
Additionally, Robinson has an active warrant from the Greenville County Sheriff's Office for Assault and Battery 2nd Degree for a domestic related assault that occurred on September 1, 2018. She had been previously arrested by Greenville Police for Unlawful Carry of a Firearm and Simple Possession of Marijuana on May 10, 2017.
The GPD is also conducting its own internal investigation, which is routine in traffic collisions involving vehicle pursuits, to determine compliance with department polices and training.
Summary of Events
• At approximately 11:11 p.m. on September 18, 2018, The GPD Communications Center (911) received a call for assistance at the Quaker Steak and Lube restaurant located at 10 Chrome Drive. The caller described an altercation involving a weapon and that a patron, later identified as Gwendolyn Robinson, had pulled a weapon on the bartender of the restaurant.
• As officers were en route to the restaurant, the suspect left the scene in a black 2010 Toyota Camry.
• Officers encountered the vehicle on Woodruff Road near I-385 and attempted to stop the vehicle.
• Ms. Robinson attempted to elude the officers by accelerating to a high rate of speed northbound on I385, with speeds varying between 80-120 mph.
• Robinson attempted to enter the exit ramp onto southbound lanes of N. Pleasantburg Drive, when she lost control of her vehicle, which traveled across a large grass median and onto the N. Pleasantburg Drive on-ramp onto N. I-385, striking and coming to rest against concrete barriers adjacent to the onramp.
• While trying to stop, one pursuing officer also lost control of his police cruiser and struck a small Crepe Myrtle tree in the same median area, causing minor damage to his patrol vehicle, and minor soreness related to the collision.
• As officers approached to apprehend the driver and passenger of the vehicle, a vehicle fire ignited.
• Officers pulled both occupants from the vehicle and the fire was extinguished.
• Greenville County EMS responded and transported both vehicle occupants to an area medical facility where they remain under treatment.
• The pursuit lasted approximately four minutes.
• Although traffic volume was exceptionally low during this incident and I-385 remained open for travel, the collision investigation required the closure of the N. Pleasantburg Drive on-ramp to I-385 northbound until approximately 6:00 a.m.