WALTERBORO, S.C. – A convicted sex offender was killed and a 14-year-old boy injured when a sport utility vehicle the man was driving slammed into an 18-wheeler following a high speed police chase, authorities said Friday.
Adam Mauro, 27, of Pelham, N.Y., died at the scene Thursday after crossing the median and driving into oncoming traffic, said state Highway Patrol spokesman Lance Cpl. Paul Brouthers.
"He didn't appear to be avoiding oncoming traffic ... and we believe this was intentional," said Colleton County Sheriff's Deputy Ted Stanfield.
The 14-year-old boy from Stamford, Conn., was ejected from the vehicle and listed in stable condition at the Medical University of South Carolina. The boy had been reported missing from his home but no Amber Alert had been issued, Stanfield said.
The Lexus SUV, reported stolen from Mauro's father's house this week, was going about 70 mph at the time, authorities said.
Police in Stamford said Mauro knew the boy's father and drove off with the child Wednesday. Police were not calling the case a kidnapping, said Stamford police Capt. Richard Conklin. He said they were investigating where Mauro met the boy and how he coaxed him into the car.
Authorities did not release the name of the boy, and Brouthers said he may have been a victim of Mauro, a former teacher's aide.
Mauro was arrested in New York in August 2000 after investigators found child pornography on his home computer. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in 2001 and was sentenced to three years' probation. Mauro also was charged in 2004 with violating an order of protection issued against him by driving past the house of an underage boy he was accused of molesting.
He was facing three counts of child endangerment and three counts of sexual abuse in two cases that were brought in New York, a court official said Friday.
A call to the Mauro home in Pelham was not immediately returned.
The 18-wheeler was driven by Timothy Marcam, 48, of Tony, Wis., who tried to swerve to avoid the oncoming vehicle, authorities said. Marcam was not injured.
Stanfield said the chase, which reached speeds of 100 mph and lasted nearly six miles, started after a deputy saw the Lexus driving erratically and motioned for the driver to pull over.