Drugs found in car that fled deputy


A stash of crack, powder cocaine, pills and money was found in a car that two fleeing suspects drove away from a deputy on James Island and crashed, killing them both late Tuesday, according to reports.

Drugs also were recovered from their bodies after the wreck around midnight on Camp Road. The men were identified as Toland Gathers, 35, and Shahied Ladson, 34, both residents of Charleston and felons with lengthy criminal histories.

The high-speed pursuit started around 11:52 p.m., when a Charleston County deputy saw a 2004 Chevrolet Impala leave a Blue Water gas station and improperly cross all lanes of traffic to travel on Folly Road, according to an incident report.

With a sheriff’s cruiser following it, the car steered toward a Walgreens, traveled through the parking lot and back onto Folly Road.

That’s when Deputy J.S. Phelps tried to pull over the car for improperly changing lanes.

“The vehicle accelerated and attempted to elude me,” Phelps wrote in the report.

The car barreled down Camp Road at 90 mph. As the Chevrolet approached a curve at Dills Bluff Road, Phelps reported that he slowed as the car pulled way and passed another vehicle.

“The vehicle … began to lose control,” Phelps wrote. “I saw the vehicle go into a slide, then strike a tree” around 11:55 p.m.

After Ladson and Gathers, who was driving, were taken to Medical University Hospital, officers found 7.5 grams of cocaine on a floorboard. They also retrieved bags of crack, pills and $240 worth of cash.

An unknown quantity of drugs was found on the bodies, sheriff’s Maj. Jim Brady said.

All the drugs were valued at $2,510.

Cpl. Bob Beres of the S.C. Highway Patrol, which is investigating the crash, said neither the driver nor the passenger was wearing a seatbelt.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.

Andrew Knapp is editor of the quick response team, which covers crime, courts and breaking news. He previously worked as a reporter and copy editor at Florida Today, Newsday and Bangor (Maine) Daily News. He enjoys golf, weather and fatherhood.