Report: Suspect charged in firefighter death says he was high on heroin

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. – A 25-year-old Greer man charged last September in a high-speed pursuit that ended with the death of a North Greenville FD firefighter said he was high on heroin at the time of the chase, according to a recent report in The Greenville News.

John William Kennedy is charged with the wrong-way crash that killed 30-year-old firefighter Jordan Howard on the morning of Sept. 17.

Howard, 30, was on his way to work at the Tigerville Road station from his home in Marietta when his motorcycle was struck head-on by the Ford F-150 reportedly being driven by Kennedy on Highway 25 a few miles above Travelers Rest.

Deputies were investigating a report of a stolen vehicle on West Blue Ridge Drive in Greenville when the chase with Kennedy began. (Watch dashcam footage of the 100+ m.p.h. chase through morning traffic in Greenville and Travelers Rest here.)

Kennedy told SLED investigators that “the whole thing was like a blur,” The Greenville News reports, adding that Kennedy said he was in a car accident at 17 and got hooked on painkillers before graduating to heroin.

Kennedy is charged with two attempted murder charges, both stemming from West Blue Ridge Dr. in Greenville, where the chase began; failure to stop with death; leaving the scene with death; reckless homicide death; and, miscellaneous other property and driving charges. He was denied bond on several of the charges and remains in the Greenville County Detention Center.

Read the entire Greenville News report here.

Related on the Tribune:

Video: North Greenville Fire Dept. Jordan Howard's last call

Photos: Remembering NGFD Lt. Jordan Howard