MARION COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – A Marion County deputy died in a crash overnight.
Marion County Sheriff Brian Wallace told News13 the deputy was killed in a vehicle crash just before 1 a.m. Tuesday.
In a post on Facebook, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office identified the deputy who died as PFC Michael Shawn Latu.
Latu was involved in a single vehicle crash while responding to a call, the sheriff’s office said. Latu was the MCSO 2018 Deputy of the Year and the 2018 Patrolman of the Year. His career started in November 2012 as a 911 dispatch operator for Marion County and he joined the sheriff’s office in January 2015.
“The void left by our brother will never be filled. We ask for your prayers of comfort during this time, not only for his family but for his ‘blue’ family as well,” the sheriff’s office said.
The crash happened around 1:05 a.m. Tuesday on U.S. Highway 76 near the U.S. Highway 501 Bypass in Marion County, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol. A 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe was traveling east on U.S. Hwy. 76, when vehicle ran off right side of the road and struck a bridge pillar.
The crash remains under investigation by the SCHP.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post around 8 a.m. Monday that PFC Latu’s body has arrived at MUSC in Charleston for an autopsy.
“Our family escorted him. Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, Charleston Police Department, Mount Pleasant Police, and Department of Public Safety all picked them up at the line and joined the escort,” the sheriff’s office said. “MUSC has arranged a room for our team to rest until PFC Latu is ready to come home. God Bless everyone who has had a hand in this extremely difficult time.”
Several other local law enforcement agencies posted on social media about the loss.
Conway Police wrote, “Our sincere condolences to our brothers and sisters in blue at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the family and friends for PFC Michael Shawn Latu.”
The Horry County Sheriff’s Office wrote, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the men and women of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and to the family of PFC Latu.”
Count on News13 for updates.
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