Charlotte Observer
Posted on Thu, Jan. 06, 2005

Drugs in wreck victim's vehicle
32-year-old had led police on chase shortly before fatal crash

Staff Writer


A Rock Hill man who died after leading police on an 80 mph chase Tuesday was driving with a suspended license and had drugs in the car, police said Wednesday.

Christopher "Cheez Puff" Chisolm, 32, was involved in a fatal wreck about four minutes after police say they decided to stop following him because it was too dangerous. The wreck happened when a tractor-trailer truck driven by Glenn Holmes, 55, of Georgia, ran a red light on S.C. 901 and slammed into the side of the Chevy Malibu Chisolm was driving, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Chisolm, who was not wearing a seat belt, died about three hours later at Carolinas Medical Center. Holmes was charged Wednesday with disregarding a traffic signal, an infraction, according to the patrol. He was treated and released from Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill. Police said the chase began after the officer attempted to pull Chisolm over for playing his music too loud, a violation of the city noise ordinance.

Police found nine grams of cocaine and one gram of marijuana in the Malibu after the wreck, Rock Hill police Lt. Jerry Waldrop said Wednesday. That amount of drugs, worth about $1,000 on the street, is enough to send a person to jail for a maximum of 30 years if convicted, police said.

York County Coroner Doug McKown said it is unclear whether Chisolm was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the wreck occurred. He said toxicology results will take several weeks to complete.

S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles records show Chisolm shouldn't have been driving at all.

In April 2001, the department banned Chisolm from driving for five years because he had too many driving violations on his record, department spokeswoman Beth Parks said. She said the suspension was in effect until April 2006.

It was the second time Chisolm's license was suspended for being a habitual offender. In 1994, his license was suspended for five years because he had too many violations, Parks said.

By law, a driver can be deemed a habitual offender if he receives three or more serious traffic convictions in a three-year period. A driver can also be deemed habitual if he has 10 violations worth four points or more in a three-year period, Parks said.

Among Chisolm's violations were two criminal convictions for failure to stop for a blue light, a charge filed when someone runs from police. An article in Wednesday's Observer incorrectly said Chisolm had no criminal record. S.C. Law Enforcement Division records show Chisolm has been convicted on drug and weapons charges as well as driving under suspension and larceny.

Chisolm's family could not be reached Wednesday.