Report: Deputy was speeding before wreck that killed teen - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Report: Deputy was speeding before wreck that killed teen

By Logan Smith - bio | email

SUMTER, SC (WIS) - An off-duty Sumter County deputy was driving nearly 20 miles over the speed limit seconds before he slammed into the car driven by a teenage girl last year, leaving the teen dead.

However, a report from the South Carolina Highway Patrol states that Deputy Kenneth Burris and Kedreanna "Keke" Felder both contributed to the December 2010 wreck on Wedgefield Highway. Felder, a high school senior, died a day after the accident.

According to the report, Burris, who was off-duty at the time of the accident, was traveling at 59 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone before the wreck. "Had [Burris] been traveling at the posted speed limit ... the collision would not have occurred," the report states.

The report also states that Felder pulled into the intersection when Burris' car was only 91 feet away from hers.

The report, which was given to the sheriff's department on Wednesday and made public on Thursday, infers that Burris did not have time to see Felder's car before the collision. "There is no competent evidence that [Burris] was acting in a manner so willful or reckless that he should face charges" in general sessions court, said Sergeant James Sinkler of the Highway Patrol.

However, Sinkler said Burris may still be charged in a lesser court.

The report also states that the intersection of Wedgefield Highway and Pitts Road, where the accident occurred, was found to be obstructed. "An existing fence line, brick structure and hedge line were determined to be a visibility obstruction to traffic approaching the intersection," the report states.

Two of Felder's friends said they themselves have been in a wreck at the same intersection, and would like to see a three-way stop sign or stoplight installed.

Burris will remain on administrative duty while the Sumter County Sheriff's Department Accident Review Board continues to investigates the accident.

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Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved.

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