SCHP: Man drives Mercedes into Atlantic Ocean

Charles Evitt (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Charles Evitt (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

GARDEN CITY, SC (WMBF) - A man and his car took a swim in the Atlantic Ocean early Friday morning after missing a stop sign in Garden City.

That man, identified as 37-year-old Charles Jeffrey Evitt of Garden City, was driving his 1991 Mercedes on North Waccamaw Drive at Woodlawn Drive  around 1:20 a.m. when he passed through the intersection, then the beach access and straight into the breaker zone.

There is still a trail of debris left on the beach showing where the car traveled. A white picket fence was knocked down from the neighboring house to the beach access, and a boardwalk was also destroyed. Crime tape remains wrapped around the shattered wood.

Neighbors said it sounded like a loud explosion that woke them up in the middle of the night. One woman ran to her porch and called 911. At first, she could not tell it was a car, but soon saw the tail lights reflected under the water. Other neighbors watched as emergency responders flooded the area.

One neighbor told WMBF News that he saw emergency responders pulling the Mercedes out of the cold waters, giving Evitt a breathalyzer before putting him in cuffs.

Records show that Evitt lives less than half a mile up the street from where he crashed his car. Neighbors are glad this didn't happen during the summer when the beach access is busy, and are glad no one was hurt.

Lance Corporal Sonny Collins with the South Carolina Highway Patrol says Evitt was not injured in the crash, and has been booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center for driving under the influence, driving under suspension and operating an uninsured vehicle.

His bond was set at $4,507.50 for those three charges.

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