A final report provided by the SC Dept. of Public Safety, shows that speed was a main factor in the deadly accident that claimed the life of Florence County Deputy Joseph Antwine.
The accident took place on November 22, on Half Moon Rd. near Johnsonville, while Antwine and Deputy Brandon Floyd were responding to a call for immediate assistance by another officer.
"We had a deputy who was in distress, had called for emergency backup, was fighting three disorderly subjects," Florence County Sheriff's Office Capt. Mike Nunn said of the incident to which Antwine and Floyd were responding.
Floyd was initially treated and later released from the hospital following the crash, but Antwine passed away from injuries he sustained.
A report completed by the SC Highway Patrol's Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT,) shows that Antwine was the driver of the Dodge Charger at the time of the accident.
The report states that the vehicle was traveling North on Half Moon Rd., that the driver was going too fast for conditions and that the vehicle ran off of the road to the left, struck a utility pole, overturned and then struck a tree.
The report also states that the estimated speed that the vehicle was traveling at the time of the accident was 126 miles per hour.
The speed limit on Half Moon Rd. is 55 miles per hour, and 45 miles per hour around curves.
"The apparent speed of the vehicle at the time of this incident is indicative of the urgency with which Deputy Antwine was determined to come to the aid of a deputy in distress," Nunn said of the report's findings.
Nunn said there are no set speed limits when it comes to officers responding to calls, and said each decision is made on an individual basis by the officers themselves.
Officers are required though, to use due care in protecting the safety of others, including themselves, which includes the use of lights and sirens and taking weather, congestion, terrain and other factors into account when they are responding.
"It's easy to second guess and armchair quarterback after the fact. Deputies involved in these situations don't have that luxury...they have to deal in real time," Nunn said.
The MAIT report goes on to say that Deputy Antwine was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, though Floyd was not.
Deputy Antwine had only been with the Florence County Sheriff's Office for a relatively short amount of time before the accident took place, but had already been accepted to join the agency's SWAT team.
The 23-year-old deputy was a Citadel graduate and native of Lake City.
3221 South Evans Street
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