Handcuffed suspect tried to save deputy's life


A passenger handcuffed after a car chase with police early Friday tried to save a sheriff's deputy who had suffered a fatal heart attack moments after arresting him, authorities said.

Police later arrested the driver of the car, who fled after the 5:30 a.m. chase. He has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the deputy's death, authorities said.

Deputy Darral Lane, 41, tried to stop the car after noticing some suspicious activity at a convenience store, authorities said. The car sped off and stopped behind a house after about two miles.

The driver ran into a nearby wooded area, and Lane drew his gun and ordered the other two men inside to the ground, said police, who watched video taken by the camera in Lane's cruiser.

Lane handcuffed one man and then crumpled to the ground, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said. "He falls to his knees and then he falls to the ground," Lott said.

One of the two men ran off, but the man who was handcuffed tried to help once he realized the deputy was in trouble. He tried to keep Lane talking and tried to use the police radio to call for help, Lott said. "He tried to talk to him," the sheriff said. "I've got to give him credit."

Deputies who already had been dispatched after Lane radioed about the chase arrived and tried to resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour later, Lott said.

The passengers, whose names were not made public, were picked up by other deputies and will not be charged, Lott said.

The driver, Matthew Denny Hooks, 34, was arrested without incident at a Columbia motel late Friday, authorities said. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had a lawyer, but a message was left late Friday with sheriff's Lt. Chris Cowan.

Deputies consulted with prosecutors and charged Hooks because the chase led to the stress leading up to Lane's heart attack, Cowan said earlier.

Hooks is also charged with possession of stolen car tags and failure to stop for a blue light, he said.

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