Dillon officer crashed minutes after being dispatched to help fellow officer
Mon, 07 Jul 2014 22:55:52 GMT —
Officials with the Dillon County 911 Communications Center say Dillon City Police Officer Jacob Richardson crashed two minutes after he was dispatched to help back up a Dillon County Sheriff's Deputy.
The deputy was responding to a fight in progress at Stables Nightclub on Highway 9 outside of Little Rock, according to officials. Five people were charged in connection with the fight.
Dispatchers say Richardson was dispatched at 2:13 a.m. and crashed at 2:15 a.m.
He collided with a small gray Mitsubushi.
Bobbi Lynn Britt, 29, of Pembroke was a passenger in that car and died from injuries suffered in the accident, according to Dillon County Coroner Donnie Grimsley.
Richardson's car burst into flames.
He escaped the fire, but remains in serious condition at a Florence hospital and has undergone surgery for his injuries.
This is the fourth deadly officer involved accident in the Pee Dee since November.
Highway Patrol is expected to have a preliminary report on the accident in Little Rock by the end of the week.
Many of you commented on our Facebook Page and website and asked if speed was a factor in the accidents.
In each case, it has yet to be determined.
We talked with officials from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy about when officers are authorized to exceed the speed limit.
The Academy trains and certifies officers and referred us to SC Code of Law Section 56-5-760 for the operation of authorized emergency vehicles. It says that officers may "exceed the speed limit if he does not endanger life or property."
The law full law reads as follows:
(A) The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or when in the pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law or when responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm, may exercise the privileges set forth in this section, but subject to the conditions of this section.
(B) The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle may:
(1) park or stand, notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter;
(2) proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation;
(3) exceed the maximum speed limit if he does not endanger life or property;
(4) disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions.
(C) The exemptions in this section granted to an authorized emergency vehicle apply only when the vehicle is making use of an audible signal meeting the requirements of Section 56-5-4970 and visual signals meeting the requirements of
Section 56-5-4700 of this chapter, except that an authorized emergency vehicle operated as a police vehicle need not use an audible signal nor display a visual signal when the vehicle is being used to:
(1) obtain evidence of a speeding violation;
(2) respond to a suspected crime in progress when use of an audible or visual signal, or both, could reasonably result in the destruction of evidence or escape of a suspect; or
(3) surveil another vehicle or its occupants who are suspected of involvement in a crime.
(D) The provisions of this section do not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons.
(E) The Criminal Justice Academy shall promulgate regulations pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act so as to provide uniform guidelines and training programs for law enforcement agencies which use emergency vehicles. Law enforcement agencies authorized to use emergency vehicles shall use the regulations developed by the Criminal Justice Academy to provide written guidelines and to provide training programs for its officers and employees regarding the operation of emergency vehicles.