“It’s not collateral – it’s a life lost” says Friend of man killed in chase

Charleston County Sheriff’s officials say an off-duty deputy that started a chase that ended with the death of an innocent man was doing his duty. A close friend of the victim just wishes things were handled differently.

“Use a spike strip or something – radio is faster than rubber so they say,” said Gene Pelligrini, of Summerville, “evidently it wasn’t this time.”

Pelligrini is an Air Force Veteran and mourning the loss of his friend and fellow Veteran Donald Echols, the 59-year-old man killed in the pursuit when the suspect ran a red light slamming into Echol’s truck. Echols reportedly served in the Navy for more than two decades.

Sheriff’s officials held a press conference Tuesday to address any concerns about the incident. “We can’t let people run without at least trying to catch them if we know they’ve done something terrible,” said Assistant Sheriff Mitchell Lucas.

Ronald Andrews, of Cottageville, had his bond set at 3 million Monday and is charged with felony DUI resulting in death, failure to stop for blue lights, and driving with a suspending license.

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