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Mount Pleasant police release redacted report in hit-and-run that claimed teen's life

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Gracie Benjamin

Gracie Benjamin. J. Henry Stuhr Mount Pleasant Chapel/Provided

Mount Pleasant police have released a redacted incident report in Friday's hit-and-run crash that claimed the life of a 17-year-old girl. 

A 32-year-old man is the driver suspected of leaving the scene of the wreck on Interstate 526 east that killed Gracie Rebecca Benjamin of Mount Pleasant. His name and other personal information were redacted from the document that was released on Tuesday. 

The report also does not detail what occurred when the cars crashed about 9:50 p.m. Friday near Long Point Road. The document's skimpy narrative says an officer responded to a collision with injuries on the interstate, stating that further information would be contained in supplemental reports, which have not been released.

Police on Saturday announced they were looking for the driver of a light blue Kia Sorento. A female was said to be in the car's passenger seat. Investigators located the driver and the vehicle later that day.

Mount Pleasant Police Inspector Chip Googe said no arrests have been made at this time. He earlier said charges are anticipated once the investigation concludes.

Despite repeated requests from reporters, Googe said the department will not release further information - such as the identity of the driver of the Sorento, how the crash occurred and any factors that may have contributed to the collision - until detectives finish witness interviews. He said Benjamin was traveling in a vehicle but declined to disclose the type of car, whether she was the driver or a passenger, and whether seat belts were worn.

“We just want to make sure we talk to all the witnesses," Googe said. "It’s not something that we’re hiding. There’s nothing behind it. … It’s just getting these witnesses and talking to them to make sure we have all the facts."

Benjamin was a senior at Wando High School, where she was in the health sciences program with plans to pursue a career in nursing, according to her obituary.

Reach Angie Jackson at 843-937-5705. Follow her on Twitter at @angiejackson23. 

Angie Jackson covers crime and breaking news for The Post and Courier. She previously covered the same beat for the Grand Rapids Press and MLive.com in Michigan. When she’s not reporting, Angie enjoys teaching yoga and exploring the outdoors.

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