NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A Myrtle Beach man is behind bars after reportedly crashing into two different vehicles on Highway 17, severely injuring at least one person, and grabbing an officer by the neck, according to a North Myrtle Beach police report.
Officers arrested Gerald Carl Sudman, 60, of Myrtle Beach, after he crashed into a car on 37th Avenue South in North Myrtle Beach around 3:24 p.m.Wednesday and fled the scene. Shortly after crashing into the first vehicle, Sudman collided with another car at 8th Avenue South and Highway 17, the report states.
Police say Sudman was driving a 2000 Cadillac, and witnesses to the second wreck told officers that after the collision, Sudman stumbled out of the vehicle and laid down on the curb, seeming “very intoxicated.” An officer responding to the second crash attempted to wake Sudman while he was lying on the curb. The seemingly impaired man “eventually woke up, grabbed [the officer] by the neck, and began saying, ‘You’re in grave danger,'” the report details.
An open can of Steel Reserve beer was found in the center console area of Sudman’s car, and officers discovered that the man has no valid South Carolina driver’s license, according to the report.
Several witnesses spoke with police about what they saw leading up to the crashes. One witness told officers he saw Sudman’s Cadillac in his rear view mirror “going well over 70 m.p.h., causing him to swerve into the median to avoid being rear ended.” The driver told police the Cadillac then crossed three lanes of traffic and hit another car. The witness pulled over to help two children climb out of the back of the car, and waited with them until helped arrived as the adult victims were trapped in the damaged vehicle.
Several victims from the two crashes were taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center for treatment, where, according to the police report, a nurse notified officers that one female victim suffered a vertebra fracture as a result of the collision and required immediate surgery.
Sudman was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center Thursday at 11:55 p.m.on charges of open container of alcohol in motor vehicle, no driver’s license, felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury, and hit and run. Bail has been set at $30,500.