Authorities in Oconee County, South Carolina, are actively searching for a man who allegedly breached the perimeter of a nuclear power plant and reportedly endangered security personnel with his vehicle.
During a Friday afternoon briefing, Sheriff Mike Crenshaw identified Doyle Wayne Whisenhunt, 66, of Lockesburg, Arkansas, as a person of interest. Whisenhunt is currently sought on drug and weapons charges in his home state.
According to Sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Watt, the incident occurred at the Oconee Nuclear Station when a silver 2002 Toyota Camry crashed through the facility’s exit gate shortly after 8 p.m. on Thursday. The vehicle subsequently hit security barricades that were promptly raised by on-site officers, before retreating down a dirt road.
The pursuit escalated when the driver, evading Duke Energy’s security barriers, broke through a fence and aimed his vehicle at security staff, later attempting to collide with a security truck as he exited the grounds. The suspect was last seen heading towards Pickens County, and subsequent shots were reported on Jones Mill Rd., though it is unclear who discharged them.
An earlier encounter at the plant involved the same individual and vehicle, Watt noted, which ended with the man departing after being requested to leave.
No injuries have been reported, and the nuclear plant remains secure and operational. Duke Energy reassured the public, stating that their extensive security measures and trained personnel successfully prevented plant access during the event.