BONNEAU, S.C. (WCSC) - The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed one of its K9 units has been involved in a fatal crash.
The crash happened shortly after 10 a.m. in the 1300 block of Main Street in Bonneau, Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis said.
The crash involved a deputy’s K9 vehicle which caught on fire.
Officials with the Highway Patrol reported that the crash happened at 10:02 a.m. on U.S. 52 and Shelly Street and involved a 2019 Chevy Tahoe, identified as the deputy’s vehicle, and a 1984 Toyota pick up truck.
Trooper Tyler Tidwell said the deputy’s vehicle was traveling west with its emergency equipment activated. According to Tidwell, the Toyota pick up truck was attempting to make a left turn from Shelly Street onto U.S. 52 when the collision occurred.
Tidwell said the driver of the Toyota died while the passenger was transported to Trident Medical Center. The deputy was also taken to Trident, and his K-9 was taken to an emergency veterinarian.
According to Highway Patrol, all those involved were wearing their seatbelts.
The Berkeley County Coroner’s Office has not yet released the name of the person who died in the collision.
Lewis said Saint Stephen Police were involved in a chase with a subject who tried to ram officers. At that point, police requested the help of Berkeley County deputies.
The Berkeley County deputy came through Bonneau when a vehicle pulled out of a side road and the two collided, Lewis said.
The deputy became trapped in the burning patrol vehicle, Lewis said.
Lewis credited bystanders with pulling the deputy out of the vehicle and said the deputy was then able to get the K9 out of the vehicle.
The deputy was taken to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening and was in stable condition at Trident Hospital, Lewis said. The K9 suffered minor injuries and was transported to an emergency vet to be examined.
Lewis said deputies would turn the scene over to the Highway Patrol and the Berkeley County Coroner’s Office.
A portion of Highway 52 was blocked between Black Oak Road and Forty-One Road most of the day. The highway reopened shortly before 5 p.m.
Lewis said the chase in Saint Stephen ended in Williamsburg County and the person was taken into custody. The sheriff’s office was not involved in the chase, he said.
Saint Stephen Police did not respond to a request for comment.