Police identify suspect, victim in deadly Port Royal fire engine theft

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Police identify suspect, victim in deadly Port Royal fire engine theft

By PATRICK DONOHUE
pdonohue@beaufortgazette.com
Published Saturday, February 25, 2012   |  426 Words  |  

Authorities released the names Saturday of the Port Royal man killed Friday afternoon after being struck by a stolen fire engine and the suspect believed to be responsible for his death.

Justin Nicholas Miller, 28, was identified by the Beaufort County Coroner's Office as the victim in the fatal collision, which occurred at about 4:30 p.m. as Miller and his brother walked south on Ribaut Road near the Dollar General store.

Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen said Miller stepped off the sidewalk to pick up something in the road and was struck by the stolen 2006 Pierce fire truck.

The truck was being driven by Kalvin Hunt, 26, of Sumter, according to Lance Cpl. Judd Jones, spokesman for the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Investigators said Hunt was nude when he climbed behind the wheel of the fire truck Friday as firefighters answered a medical call at Laurel Hill apartments on Ribaut Road.

Hunt barreled down Ribaut Road toward Beaufort in the stolen engine, colliding with several vehicles before striking Miller and then a tree near the Dollar General Store, authorities said.

Miller was pronounced dead at the scene. His brother was unharmed.

Allen said an autopsy was performed Saturday at the Medical University of South Carolina Beaufort.

Attempts to reach members of Miller's family were unsuccessful.

Hunt was arrested after a brief scuffle with two Beaufort police officers and a paramedic who tried to free him from the damaged fire truck.

He was taken to Beaufort Memorial Hospital for the treatment of non-life threatening injuries sustained in the crash, and remained hospitalized Saturday, said Beaufort Deputy Police Chief Dale McDorman.

Upon his release, McDorman said Beaufort police will charge the suspect with two counts of assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest.

Port Royal Police likely will charge him in connection with the theft of the fire truck, McDorman said.

The highway patrol will file any charges brought in connection with the pedestrian's death, though no charges had been filed Saturday, Jones said.

Jones said the crash remains under investigation

Hunt has no prior arrests in Beaufort County, according to the county jail log.

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft.

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