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High-speed chase ends with 12 charges against Independence County man; child in suspect’s car during pursuit

An Independence County man recently fled from authorities at speeds over 100 m.p.h. and will face 12 charges when he is apprehended.

Deputy Adam McGilton with the Independence County Sheriff’s Department attempted to do a traffic stop on a white Dodge Pickup going south on Highway 167 in the late hours of Thursday, Nov. 15.

McGilton had recognized the vehicle as being driven by 32-year-old Eric Henderson Blake, who had previous charges from an earlier incident. The deputy also said the vehicle license did not belong to the vehicle being driven.

Blake refused to stop and sped away, reaching speeds over 100 m.p.h. during a chase that included travel over Highway 167 south, McHue Road, Camp Tahkodah Road, and McGough Road in Independence County, according to authorities.

The chase finally ended at 269 McGough after Blake’s vehicle crashed into a gate behind the residence. McGilton said he saw Blake’s father, Lloyd Blake, carry a small, one-year-old female child from the truck as Eric Blake was running on foot into the woods. After a search, deputies were unable to find Eric Blake.

McGilton said — unknown at the time — the one-year-old child had been in the vehicle during the entire chase.

The deputy said a search of the truck found a loaded .22 caliber rifle with a night vision hunting scope along with approximately 200 rounds of ammunition; a glass pipe on the floor with a white residue inside the pipe; and a propane lighter in the seat. McGilton said he arrested Lloyd Blake for hindering apprehension because he already knew that Eric Blake had charges with the sheriff’s department and still allowed his son to drive the vehicle again.

The one-year-old and an older sister were removed from the residence by the Department of Human Services.

Eric Blake is facing 12 charges, including two felonies: possession of a firearm by a certain person (felony)
 and fleeing (felony). Blake is also charged with driving on a suspended driver’s license; endangering the welfare of a minor
; no proof of liability insurance
; fictitious tags
; failure to yield at a stop sign
; driving left of center
; and failure to pay a registration fee.

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