Beaufort News

Four Tanger stores lose power after leaping driver's car strikes transformer

Four stores at Tanger Outlets Center 1 were forced to close Saturday after losing power when a car driven by a man fleeing police crashed into a transformer after the driver jumped from his vehicle.

The incident occurred around noon Saturday when a Beaufort County Sheriff's deputy attempted to stop the man after reports he was driving erratically on U.S. 278, according to Lt. Joey Woodward of the Sheriff's Office.

With police in pursuit, the man turned into the center from the highway, drove behind the building and leapt from the vehicle, Woodward said. The car then struck the transformer, knocking out power to the four stores.

Palmetto Electric Cooperative is repairing the transformer and the stores -- New Balance, Soma, BCBGMAXAZRIA and Vince Camuto -- should reopen at 11 a.m. today, according to center general manager LaDonna Shamlou.

The driver was taken to Hilton Head Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, said Capt. Randy Hunter of the Bluffton Township Fire District.

"He was taken into custody but then he complained his back hurt so EMS took him," Woodward said.

Once he is released, the suspect will be arrested and charged with reckless driving and failure to stop for blue lights, Woodward said.