MARION COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Marion County deputy Jonathan David Price died in the line of duty after a wreck late Wednesday night.
The 29-year-old deputy’s death marks a heartbreaking loss for a sheriff’s office that knows this pain.
“It’s like reliving a nightmare,” sheriff Brian Wallace said. “It’s a sad day for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.”
Deputy Price’s death comes just 13 months after MCSO lost Cpl. Michael Latu in a line of duty crash.
“I think we’re still in shock and we’re numb,” deputy and victim advocate Tammy Erwin said. “We’re fewer than 30 deputies. And so to lose two in a year’s time, or a year and three weeks, it’s just record breaking. And heart breaking at the same time.”
Erwin said Price was quiet and well liked, and took his fitness seriously so he could be good at his job. Many people referred to him as ‘David.’ He left behind a wife and three young children.
“I can tell you about Deputy Price— I can sum it up three ways,” Sheriff Wallace said. “He was a Christian, he was a family man and he was a law enforcement officer. In that order. He loved his family, he loved Christ and he loved serving the people and the citizens of Marion County.”
Price had been with the MCSO since September, before that he worked for Dillon PD.
“He was only here for a short time,” the sheriff said. “But…we grew to love him as part of our family.”
Price and another were killed in a wreck that happened around 11 p.m. Wednesday by the corner of Maiden Down Road and Jackson Road.
The driver of the other car, Patrick McCormick, 35, of Marion, also was killed, according to coroner Jerry Richardson. Autopsies will be done Monday at the MUSC in Charleston.
Many political leaders, other law enforcement agencies and community members have expressed their condolences.
“It’s been wonderful,” Deputy Erwin said of the community’s support. “We had wonderful support a year ago and everyone is right back in our hands taking care of us again.”
“We covet their prayers and their support during some dark days here at the sheriffs office,” the sheriff said.
If you want to help out, Erwin said you can go to the First Citizens Bank in Dillon and make a donation to Price’s wife. There’s also a fundraiser going through Serve and Connect, which will benefit his family and honor his service.
Meanwhile, MCSO says it’s praying for both crash victims, and doing all it can to help Price’s family.
“We’re here to do whatever we can to comfort them,” Sheriff Wallace said. “Not only in the next few days but as long as they need us.”
“Knowing those kids had such a great dad and he is now gone is hard,” Deputy Erwin said. “And now they have acquired 30 new dads from here at our department. And uncles. and I know that we’ll take care of them.”