CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Police Department has requested that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division investigate after a man died days after he collapsed at the department’s headquarters where he was taken to get a breathalyzer test following an accident.
The department’s request came on Friday when CPD officials said they were gathering information in response to a news request on the case, and the department was provided a document that raised questions about whether their police officers followed proper procedures when the driver was not transported to the hospital from the scene of the accident.
The incident happened on the afternoon of Aug. 12, 2018 when officers responded to a two car crash at the intersection of US-17 and Coming Street in downtown Charleston.
Police say as the first officer arrived on scene, the driver of one of the vehicles was in an ambulance being attended to by EMS.
“Shortly thereafter, when an officer spotted an open container in the driver’s vehicle, the officer requested that the driver take a series of field sobriety tests,” Charleston police officials said."The driver was then taken to Charleston Police Headquarters for a breathalyzer examination."
A report states that on entering the station, the driver fell to the ground and reported that he was experiencing physical distress at which point, officers called EMS and he was transported to a local hospital where he died four days later.
“Believing that this matter should be independently investigated to ensure objectivity, city of Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds immediately referred the investigation to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division,” read a statement by Charleston police released on Friday.
“The loss of a life is always tragic and must be taken very seriously," said Chief Reynolds."I have requested that SLED conduct a thorough investigation into this matter."