COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Two Midlands men are offering the public a special view of the motorcade that brought Faye Swetlik’s body from her autopsy in Charleston back to Lexington.
Todd Cockrell and Cliff Fisher took to the sky on Saturday as the motorcade entered Orangeburg County, following it up Interstate 26 before exiting in Lexington County.
“It was an experience to see it because it was very moving, chills almost go over you when you see it,” Cockrell said. “All those guys…what they did to honor her. It was moving.”
Fisher owns the helicopter and paid for the fuel to make the flight. Cockrell said the goal was to provide the public with an aerial perspective of the touching tribute for the slain six-year-old.
“Just flying over knowing she was in that car…at one point I was glad I wasn’t in control of the copter because my eyes got a little blurry,” he said. ”I turned and looked at Cliff and we couldn’t look at each other very long so we turned away.”
The men witnessed first responders paying their respects at the Sandy Run exit, as firetrucks lined the overpass. As they made their way toward the I-77 interchange, traffic came to a standstill to allow the police escorted motorcade to make its way through.
On its way to the funeral home, the motorcade passed by the Churchill Heights neighborhood along Airport Boulevard, unbeknown to the Charleston law enforcement officers who coordinated the drive.
“As we approached Airport Boulevard, I could see from the air the crowd that had formed from the air in front of the neighborhood so we kind of hovered over that exit for a little bit and watched the motorcade come through,” Cockrell said. “We proceeded with them and it was a sight coming over the neighborhood and seeing everybody literally running into the middle of the road.”
As Swetlik’s body was escorted into the town of Lexington, people lined the streets with signs and flags, paying their respects to Swetlik and her family. According to Caughman Harman Funeral Home, Swetlik’s private service is being provided at no cost.