A stolen Ford Focus had the police on lookout for the said vehicle and on Thursday evening, just minutes before midnight, officers thought that they had identified it, starting off with a chase on Gervais Street in downtown Columbia that ended with three people losing their lives.

The chase was started after officers saw the car run through a stop sign, according to the City of Columbia. On the 2300 block of Pinehurst Road, the driver then had lost the control of the vehicle. The vehicle ended up cresting a small hill and then skidded before it ran into a tree.

The vehicle was hit sideways, and the driver’s side door was wrapped in a “U” around the tree. Before the police had the chance to extricate the victims out of the car, the vehicle burst to flames.

Gary Watts, Richland County Coroner, said that the victims were burned very badly beyond recognition. They are currently trying to identify the victims and tentatively, they identified the three victims as a male and two females. The authorities are asking the help of the community if they know of someone who was inside the car and if so, that they would contact them. The authorities have no ID because the car was stolen. Reports from investigation indicate that the vehicle was stolen on the 4th of January.

Since the police vehicles were tailing the car, around 100 yards behind maybe, the Highway Patrol will be handling the investigation. Video camera footages from the pursuing cars may be of help in unraveling what happened on the accident. Investigation may last three to four weeks.

Accident victims have rights. You may be eligible for compensation for your injuries, wage loss and medical bills. Contact an experienced  Columbia Injury Lawyer now for a free consultation.