A South Carolina man was stuck on the side of the road Saturday after the car he was driving caught on fire on Interstate 95.
Bryan County Sheriff’s Office deputies wound up giving him a ride — to jail.
Terry Alan Bruce of Sumter, South Carolina — who initially denied being the driver of the car — was charged with driving with a suspended license and having no registration and no insurance.
A 1995 Toyota Corolla was “totally engulfed in flames” on the shoulder of I-95 near mile marker 84 when emergency crews arrived shortly before 1:30 p.m., the BCSO report states. A man later identified as Bruce was standing near the car, which emergency-radio broadcasts indicated was on the southbound side of the interstate.
Firefighters extinguished the flames quickly, but the car was a total loss, according to Richmond Hill Fire Chief Ralph Catlett.
Bruce reportedly told a BCSO deputy that he had been a passenger in the car and a man he knew as “Little” had been driving.
“Asked where Mr. Little was, Mr. Bruce stated that he had already left,” according to the incident report.
However, Bruce’s account was contradicted by multiple witnesses, who said they saw him get out of the driver’s seat and gather clothes from the car as it started to catch fire.
“I ain’t even gonna lie; my license is suspended,” Bruce reportedly responded after being told of the witnesses’ statements.
Bruce told the deputy that he knew he was driving illegally but was just trying to get back to South Carolina, according to the report. A check of the car’s vehicle identification number indicated it was registered to someone else, and the registration had expired
Bruce said he bought the car from that person a few months ago, but all his paperwork was inside the burned vehicle. The car was not listed as stolen, the report states.
Records showed this was Bruce’s fourth arrest for driving with a suspended license. He also was cited for driving an unregistered vehicle and having no insurance.